30e législature, 3e session

L015 - Thu 18 Mar 1976 / Jeu 18 mar 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, as members are aware, the Residential Premises Rent Review Act, 1975, requires that the Lieutenant Governor in Council determine a percentage rent increase that a landlord may charge for any period commencing on or after Aug. 1, 1976, and before Aug. 1, 1977. The Act further requires that this increase be announced not later than April 1.

Because the increase is of great interest to both landlords and tenants, the government has decided to make an announcement today to allow as much advance notice as possible.

First, I would like to say that this decision was not arrived at lightly. A great deal of research has gone into the determination of the rate. Senior officials of my ministry, led by our staff economist and supported by experts within the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs, have worked long and hard to compile the data needed by my colleagues and myself in making this decision.

I would point out that our deliberations were conducted keeping in mind that the percentage rent increase allowable without review should have relevance to the general economic climate and to the overall housing situation in the province so as to minimize any deterioration in the rental situation. At the same time, it must be compatible with the anti-inflation goals of this government.

We also had to ensure that the allowable increase would permit landlords to pass on legitimate increases in cost without exceeding the limits of a typical tenant’s monthly budget.

Therefore, acting on the best advice available to us, we have decided that the percentage rent increase will remain as eight per cent for the period between Aug. 1, 1976, and July 31, 1977.

I would emphasize that landlords who feel justified in charging more than an eight per cent increase must seek a hearing before a rent review officer. Of course, tenants retain the right to such a rent review hearing if they feel that rent increases of eight per cent or less are excessive.


Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, later today I will table the report of the Waste Management Advisory Board on the carbonated soft drink container in Ontario.

The Waste Management Advisory Board was appointed a year ago to assist and complement the efforts of my ministry in developing methods of reducing and handling the volume of solid waste of all types now generated in our province. As part of its activities, the board is preparing the final report on the packaging of milk. I hope to receive this report shortly, at which time I will table it and distribute it to the public.

In its report on soft drink containers, the advisory board expresses its dissatisfaction with the industry’s progress during the past 12 months toward increased sale and use of the refillable container.

You will recall that my predecessor, the Hon. W. Newman, met with representatives of the carbonated beverage industry and its suppliers and retailers in March, 1975. The minister alerted the industry to the growing trend toward increased sales of the non-refillable, or throwaway container as it is also called, and asked industry members, bottlers and retailers to take concerted voluntary action to increase the use of the environmentally preferable refillable container.

The board’s report, based on a year’s study, reflects only minor advances toward increased use of the refillable container. It indicates that progress has been limited on the whole and that response by the retail sector of the industry in particular, with one or two exceptions, has been especially disappointing. There is ample statistical evidence supporting this conclusion.

There is some daylight in the situation, however. I quote the report:

“The decline in market share of carbonated soft drinks sold in refillable bottles has been halted and the trend, although modest, has been reversed for the first time since non-refillable containers were first introduced in the 1960s.”

As we are all aware, the issue of solid waste and what to do with it is a challenging and complex problem in today’s society.

The report of the Waste Management Advisory Board makes several recommendations for action by my ministry and I intend to give these full consideration. I will review the board’s report and its ramifications with my cabinet colleagues and introduce specific legislative proposals to the House in the near future.


Hon. J. R. Smith: Today at 1:30 p.m., on behalf of the government of Ontario, I signed an instrument of assignment of the licence to operate the abattoir at Guelph Correctional Centre to Guelph Beef Centre Ltd., a company of the DeJonge Group. This instrument will be placed before the bankruptcy court when it resumes sitting at 2:45 p.m. today.

The DeJonge proposal, received by the trustee and approved by a large majority of the unsecured creditors, is consistent with accepted bankruptcy practices. It provides for the purchase of unsecured creditors’ claims at 15 cents on the dollar, with larger dividends available to small creditors.

It also permits creditors the option of waiting for six months, during which time the assets of Essex Packers Ltd. will be more thoroughly valued. They may then possibly receive a larger dividend, without losing the guarantee of 15 cents on the dollar.

The advantages of allowing production to continue in this way are many:

Unsecured creditors will receive some payment;

Employment opportunities for some 200 to 300 former Essex Packers workers will be maintained;

There will be a continuing market in the Hamilton and Guelph areas for pork and beef producers, including those who were unpaid when Essex went into receivership;

There will be no interruption in the ministry’s successful rehabilitative programme.

To amplify my last point, the DeJonge Group proposes to run the abattoir as it was operated by Essex Packers Ltd., but with an increase in productivity from 900 to 1,400 head per week. The heavy emphasis on rehabilitative training will now include co-operation with Conestoga College of Applied Arts and Technology in a programme, the details of which are still being developed. At present, the abattoir is classified as a training centre with Canada Manpower. Inmates who seek a career in the industry on release, and who are judged suitable, will be offered employment opportunities as available on release.

Inmate wages will be at least as high as at under the new agreement. Present figures are: On commencement as trainee, $3.15 an hour; after three months’ training, $3.50 an hour; if successful in the merit selection process for assignment to more skilled and specialized jobs, $4.90 an hour.

The programme began last May, and the occasional inmate has remained incarcerated long enough to complete the training and to gain the civilian rate of $5.60 an hour. Usually, however, sentences are completed before the trainee is fully qualified for the top-paying jobs.

Nevertheless, through overtime, many inmates have been able to support their families at a level of over $200 per week, more than twice what their families could hope to receive on social assistance -- and this after paying $25 per week for their institutional board and lodging and substantial income tax deductions.

Since the start of the programme last May, an average of 30 inmates has been employed daily, despite Essex Packers’ troubles, and total earnings have reached $125,000. The best month to date was February, 1976, when 47 inmates earned a total of $15,785. These figures, of course, will increase if the productivity rises as planned under the new agreements.

I should stress that the DeJonge Group was the only company to come forward with a total package involving not only the Guelph Correctional Centre operation, but also the continuance of the Hamilton operations. This factor was of consequence in the government’s decision, since so many jobs can be saved. All other groups contacted would have seen the Hamilton facility phased out, as they were only interested in the efficient Guelph Correctional Centre facility.

For all these reasons, and after exploring all alternatives prior to bankruptcy, the government has decided not to force the bankruptcy of Essex Packers Ltd. This course, followed by the calling of tenders for the operation of the Guelph facility alone, without reference to the future of Essex Packers’ other interests, has therefore been rejected in favour of our agreement to the DeJonge proposal.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I wish to announce changes in the motor vehicle licensing system to permit the identification of passenger motor vehicles owned and operated by ham radio operators.

Currently, all passenger vehicles, including those owned by radio operators, are identified by licence plates containing three letters and three numbers.

Mr. Cassidy: Must be an election that did it.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Radio operators will now be able to purchase passenger vehicle licence plates that will include their radio call number. These special plates will begin with VE3 followed by two or three alphabetical characters -- for example, VE3-AB or VE3-ABC.

These special radio operator vehicle plates will be made available under the ministry’s current “own choice” licence plate programme for a standard fee of $25, over and above any other fees payable.

This change in the licensing system has been requested by the Radio Society of Ontario, and will readily identify radio operators who can provide -- and, I might say, Mr. Speaker, have in many cases provided -- a very valuable public service by assisting the police or other organizations during emergencies and searches and that type of situation. I am very pleased to announce this today.


Ms. Sandeman: Point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Yes, the hon. member for Peterborough.


Ms. Sandeman: Mr. Speaker, I have always understood that it was a right of the members of this House to be free to receive their constituents in their offices at any time, whether by invitation or not. Could you explain to me why several of my constituents, and I believe those of other members, this morning were denied entrance to the House for a considerable period of time by the security guards; were subjected to quite intensive questioning; kept standing out in the cold for periods of upwards to an hour; when I, and I believe other members, were expecting to see them upstairs by appointment?

Mr. Speaker: I’m not aware of that, but I just might restate the policy. All demonstrations are outside, but it’s quite clear that if any individual of the demonstrating group or groups, or a reasonable number of people wish to see a particular member, that is arranged. There were several caucuses this morning, I understand, and they had difficulty making contact with the members. But that is the clear, stated policy. If you were in your office, you should have been called by the appropriate security person. If you were there, then there is no reason you should not have received a call. I’ll check into that, thank you.

I believe there was another ministerial statement, which I didn’t catch.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Sorry, Mr. Speaker, this is an answer to question No. 4 on the order paper in the name of the member for Rainy River (Mr. Reid), which I would like to give by way of a statement. The question was:

“Would the Minister of Transportation and Communications advise the amount of money collected by licence plate issuers which has been unaccounted for, for the past five fiscal years?”

The answer, Mr. Speaker: There are no moneys unaccounted for that have been collected by motor vehicle licence issuers during the past five fiscal years.

There is an amount due from one former issuer in the sum of $119.45. At the time of his resignation, a reconciliation and audit of his account established that $286 was due the ministry. Payments are being at the rate of $10 per month, albeit irregularly.

At this time, however, the Ontario Provincial Police, at the request of the ministry are investigating certain matters relating to the handling of funds in two motor vehicle licence issuing offices. It would be inappropriate for me to speculate as to the results of these investigations at this time.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. May I first ask a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications? Will he meet with representatives of the Ontario Haulers Association, who put forward a rather strong position outside the Legislature today; and will he indicate to the Legislature any changes he intends to make under the Public Commercial Vehicles Act as a result of the representation made to him?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I’ve always been available to meet with the Ontario Haulers Association. I have met with them -- not recently -- but I did receive a telegram a few days ago advising me of the intention to hold this demonstration today and asking me to be available for a meeting. I have been in this building most of the day. I’ve not been asked for a meeting. I will be here the rest of the day. I will be most of the afternoon in the estimates committee, however, but I’ll certainly he prepared to meet with them.

To the other part of the question of the Leader of the Opposition; no, I do not have any plans for changing that Act.

Mr. Reid: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister indicate whether with the limited experience we have whether he is satisfied with the new regional system of permits for the truck hauling industry?

Hon. Mr. Snow: As I stated last week, I believe, in reply to a similar question, as per the legislation and the amendments that were passed here last fall as a result of the request of this same truckers’ organization --

Mr. Reid: No, of this one. There are two different organizations.

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, I beg to differ. I believe this organization was very much involved in representations to my predecessor that probably had a great deal to do with the initiating of his decision to have the dump truck inquiry under Mr. Rapoport. Mr. Rapoport brought in his report and one of the main recommendations of the report, after studying the industry very intensively, was for the control of entry into the field. That recommendation, along with other recommendations of the report, was implemented last fall by changes in legislation or regulation.

We’re just in the process at this time of issuing the new R licences to the truckers who presently have the F licences. Automatically each truck owner who has an F licence gets an R licence, giving him authority to operate in one of the five regions. These are not small regions, they’re quite large regions. Also, as I stated again last week -- and I don’t like to repeat myself, because it’s all in Hansard -- the chairman of the Highway Transport Board is arranging for hearings to be set up in local communities to receive applications for extension of those R licences into a second, third or fourth region. Obviously, many of the operators are going to need this additional licence. Last night I talked to one operator whose home base is within two miles of a regional boundary. He obviously operates in both regions. Of course, I advised him to apply to the board for authority to operate into the second region, permanent authority, and if he needs immediate authority to operate, he can apply for temporary authority which the chairman can grant him.

If we’re going to gain the benefits that were requested by the trucking industry, that were recommended by Mr. Rapoport, then I’m sure the legislation that we have will do this.

Mr. Philip: Supplementary: Can we take it from the answer just given that the minister is prepared to look at ways of becoming more flexible under the present regulations and that he will consider any recommendations that the haulers will care to make with you when they do meet, in fact, this afternoon?

Hon. Mr. Snow: The authority for granting --

Mr. Singer: Why don’t you just say you are flexible and sit down?

Hon. Mr. Snow: -- public commercial vehicle licences lies with the Ontario Highway Transport Board. I don’t think there’s any need for additional flexibility. The chairman of the board has the authority and has assured me that he is willing to deal with any situations, or any applications, as they are put before him. I don’t think there’s any need for me -- and I’m not sure I have the authority -- to suggest to the chairman of the Highway Transport Board that he should be more flexible than the legislation and the regulations allow him to be. Also, I can’t give the hon. member a commitment, obviously, that I will implement any suggestions that the truckers may have, because, of course, I have no idea what suggestions they may have.


Mr. Lewis: A question, if I may, of the Premier: Is there a backbench revolt simmering in the Premier’s ranks about the way in which he handled the hospital cutbacks without advance discussion with the areas affected?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You’re dreaming again. You’d better go and see Stuart Smith.

An hon. member: Wishful thinking.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Reid: What kind of a setup is that?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Unlike some parties in this House, we don’t have any backbench revolts.

Mr. S. Smith: They certainly have a revolting front bench.

Mr. Lewis: Oh? You have a statement to make, perhaps, Stuart? All right. May I ask the Premier a supplementary?

Mr. Reid: What kind of setup is that?

Mr. Lewis: Can I ask him this? Would he care to reflect on the following, which was elicited today? The comment says, on the paper I have: “Mr. Johnston hereby goes on record as being in opposition to health cutbacks until further consultation with the people involved. Signed, Bob Johnston, MPP, St. Catharines.”


Mr. MacDonald: He is always in favour of restraint whether it is seatbelts or anything.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would be very surprised and disappointed if the members whose ridings are affected by any policy of government didn’t register their concerns to their constituents.

As I say, unlike some parties opposite I never interpret that as a matter of revolt. In fact, within our party the word revolution is not part of our vocabulary, unlike theirs.

Mr. Reid: How about --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Evolution, yes; revolution, never.

Mr. Lewis: As a matter of fact, at this point in time, evolution isn’t even in your vocabulary. But immobility, paralysis, all of those.


Mr. Lewis: May I ask another question? Why did the Premier not accept -- it’s a separate question -- the first recommendation from the Ministry of Culture and Recreation in the cabinet submission that came to you on Nov. 25, 1975, to proceed with the television stations and microwave transmitters for Sudbury and Thunder Bay?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch) might like to comment on that question. I am sure he will be back here very shortly.

Mr. Lewis: As I understand it, however, it did come to cabinet on Nov. 25, 1975, and presumably cabinet said no since that was the public decision. Therefore, whoever speaks for cabinet --

Mr. Singer: Why don’t we get questions instead of speeches all day?

Mr. Lewis: Who speaks for cabinet?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The question may be referred to when the appropriate minister is here.

Mr. Lewis: But I don’t want to ask the Minister of Culture and Recreation. I would like to ask --

Mr. Singer: You have already had an answer.

Mr. Lewis: Can the Premier answer why cabinet rejected the recommendations?

Mr. Singer: Do you have a supplementary for that? I’m sure you must have?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I can only make the observation that there are a multitude of recommendations which come to cabinet from a number of ministries. I would say -- I think I am right in this -- that probably the majority of these recommendations involve the government in additional public expenditure.

I think it is fair to say that, in spite of some of the rhetoric here in this House in the past while, the government programme of restraint has been one that has been under way for a period of time. While I am not at liberty to divulge the discussions that take place within cabinet, I think it is fair to say that there is some likelihood that the decision to delay or postpone or find alternatives to expenditure of sums of money, whether it was educational television or anything else, would be in that area of restraining the level of government expenditure. As I say -- I am sure the Leader of the Opposition knows this -- I really can’t tell him exactly what goes on in cabinet as much as he would like to know.

Mr. Speaker: We will have one more supplementary from the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, maybe the Premier can explain why he --

Mr. Singer: Mr. Speaker, this question period is a joke.

Mr. Lewis: -- took the position he did when at the top of page 5 and throughout the memorandum it said:

“Cancel, at a cost to the government of $903,000, the planned stations at Sudbury and Thunder Bay. The government received absolutely nothing for $903,000 in 1976-1977.”

Can he explain in the context of restraint how that made sense?

Mr. Singer: That’s Tory management. Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, the same question really has been asked three times. The Premier said it was cabinet policy. Why does our time have to eaten up by this posturing by the Leader of the Opposition?


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cassidy: Are you in bed with them?

Hon. Mr. Davis: In answer to the question -- this is why I suggested, with respect, that perhaps the Minister of Culture and Recreation might answer this particular question -- as we are attempting to deal with restraint we are also attempting to see if there aren’t alternatives which can be accommodated within certain levels of expenditure. The ministry has been working on alternatives but quite often alternatives are not as good as one would like to see achieved basically or in the initial period --

Mr. Sargent: We didn’t get our copy of that report.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- whereby there will be --

Mr. Makarchuk: Nine hundred thousand dollars for nothing.

Hon. Mr. Davis: If the members will listen for a moment, the ministry is pursuing an alternative that really will result in no loss to the Province of Ontario.


Mr. Reid: Supplementary?

Mr. Speaker: The member for Rainy River with a final supplementary.

Mr. Reid: May I ask the Premier if he doesn’t feel as a matter of policy and principle that TVO or ETV, whatever he prefers to call it, should be spread to those communities far away from the metropolitan centre, where we don’t have the benefit of a number of television channels and so on; that in fact ETV was set up to do that very thing, and he is punishing those very people that it was set up to bring that service to?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am delighted to have this question from the hon. member because he is, of course, right in his basic assumption on the long-range policy of the government and certainly ETV -- or whatever terminology he may wish to use -- contrary to the views of some of his colleagues in his own caucus; yes, I think in terms of policy and principle --

Mr. Sargent: Why is Grey-Bruce last on the list then?

Hon. Mr. Davis: In terms of policy or in terms of principle, the intention is to have it in the northeast and northwest. I don’t think there is any question about that. The Leader of the Opposition was referring to a plan whereby this would be accomplished. I am just saying to the House the ministry is working on a proposal where this can be partially accomplished within the constraints and with no $900,000 loss.


Mr. S. Smith: A question to the Premier: In view of the Health Minister’s ill health, which we all very much regret, will the Premier postpone the hospital closings at least until the minister is back in operation again?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to lead anyone astray. This is a very important issue to the communities which have made representation to the government and to the hospital boards.

I guess now I have met with either three or four groups which have made representations based on their views of the decision of the minister and the ministry. I think it was the hope of the minister prior to yesterday to come to some degree of finality, if possible, as soon as it could be done in order to have it settled in the minds of the people affected and so on. And I think that made great sense.

I would say to the members of the House, Mr. Speaker, that with the unfortunate illness of the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) that the function of his ministry will be continued. I said to the one group yesterday, or I think both of them, that quite obviously there would be a response and that it might take somewhat longer than was originally anticipated. I have assured every hospital board or community that has been in to see me that the submissions that they have made will be carefully evaluated.

I think it is fair to state, Mr. Speaker, that by and large the submissions have been positive in nature. Unlike some of the observations I have heard from across the House, they genuinely support the government’s programme of restraint. They are anxious to accommodate what they recognize, unlike some opposite, as the economic realities of Ontario and Canada today. I have been frankly impressed by the constructive way in which they have approached it. I was, I hope, very honest with them and made it very clear to them. There are one or two members opposite who were present at those meetings when I did my best not to create any level of anticipation or expectation that might not be fulfilled, because I don’t think that would either help the situation or be fair.

Mr. Nixon: Just created a lot of cigar smoke.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member was at one of those meetings, and I think he would agree that was the approach that was taken. It is my hope Mr. Speaker, that the ministry and those who may be assisting, can be evaluating the submissions made. I made it quite clear that while the tentative date for closing of some of the institutions was April 1, I think it was always in the mind of the minister that this might not be practical in some instances, and we are not committed to a specific April 1 date.

I can’t add anything more than that at the moment, other than to say that I am sure we all regret the misfortune of the Minister of Health. But I also have to say to the leader of the Liberal Party that it is the responsibility of Premiers and governments to continue functioning. People are entitled to answers and decisions; and to say that the decisions on the alternatives that the government has been asked to assess will be postponed indefinitely because of the unfortunate situation with the minister himself, I cannot give the member that particular undertaking.

I would only add to the Leader of the Opposition -- and I don’t think I’m betraying any confidences -- the mayor of Durham does not really blame the government for the closing of the arena.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: In view of the very positive and constructive nature of the delegation -- as the Premier himself described it -- and their willingness to assist in the necessary restraint policy, was the Premier able to explain to these delegations why they were not consulted in the first place for their constructive comments, and why instead it was said that all that would do is create “a lot of flak”?

Hon. Mr. Davis: We discussed a number of matters in the course of the meetings that I attended --

Mr. S. Smith: How come you didn’t consult with them?

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and while I recognize, and we debated this yesterday to a certain extent in the hon. member’s absence, which I totally understand, in a non-partisan way.

Mr. S. Smith: That makes one of us.

An hon. member: Couldn’t face the music; that’s why he wasn’t here.

Hon. Mr. Davis: As some of his colleagues would say, he really didn’t miss anything, but --

Mr. Ruston: That’s what the reporters say, too.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And the Liberal House leader is going to report to him very accurately.

Mr. Conway: The red Tory is a red herring.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker: I have to say this to the leader of the Liberal Party the question of whether consultation, in that sense of the word, prior to the recommendations of the ministry or of the minister might have led to some of these suggestions prior to -- I don’t want to say what was in their minds, but this in itself was not expressed to me in the way that I think the leader of the Liberal Party is suggesting.

Mr. Nixon: Unkindly.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t say that unfairly, but he can look behind him to the member who was at one of those meetings. And it was interesting for an area that rather traditionally, with some help, had opposed any approach of looking at things on a regional basis, if I can say that -- where it was even an issue in certain by-election periods -- to have that particular group of people come in, and the member for Huron-Bruce (Mr. Gaunt) was there as well --

Mr. S. Smith: The Premier put a gun to their heads and they came in like lambs.

Mr. Reid: Is this a perpetual motion machine?

Hon. Mr. Davis: To have the warden of the county suggest -- and I found it interesting -- that perhaps if there was a regional health council, or some structure of county council which could do this, I found intriguing -- if I can phrase it that way --

Mr. S. Smith: Is this all directly pertinent to my question, Mr. Speaker?

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- but there was no suggestion, Mr. Speaker, that this was, on its own initiative, going to occur prior to that event.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for Huron-Middlesex was there.

Mr. Speaker: Does the hon. member for Grey-Bruce have a supplementary to the first question?

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Premier, in view of the circumstances of yesterday; we all very sincerely regret what happened to the minister and we hope for his full recovery. But in view of the circumstances, and supplementary to my leader’s question, if minority government is going to work --


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Have you found a way out? Find a way out; tell us about it. Have you found a way off the hook?

An hon. member: That was the Premier’s quotation.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You just snap your fingers.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He just blew the caucus confidence.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are wasting time.


Mr. Sargent: Quote, unquote. The Premier was pleading on his knees yesterday, begging for consideration. If this is going to work --

Mr. Lewis: It is called a leak.

Mr. Sargent: -- why wouldn’t the Premier, in view of the situation now in regard to hospital closings, appoint a full committee of the House to deal in the future with hospital closings?

Mr. Deans: Was he at the Liberal caucus meeting?

Mr. Lewis: We have just found out what they decided.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The member for Hamilton West’s question had to do with consultation earlier; and I think that’s been asked --

Mr. Sargent: I’m talking about a committee of the whole House. Can I get an answer from the Premier?

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much. It’s a different question completely.

Mr. Sargent: It certainly is not.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I rule it so. The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.

Mr. Nixon: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Since you’re not prepared to permit the question to be answered, I would like to ask the Premier for clarification on the removal of the April 1 deadline. Is he going to see that his office informs the boards of the various hospitals that they need not consider April 1 in the context of the minister’s announcement as the closing date? I think the arrangements in these hospitals might very much depend upon the Premier’s statement in this regard.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think it’s quite obvious that for those hospitals where the consideration of the briefs and the proposals will not be completed in time to bring some finality by April 1, yes, there is no question that they will be informed.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: As I understand it, every single hospital other than Chesley has been given an avenue of appeal and reconsideration. So, with the exception of Chesley, we are talking about an extended life for all the other hospital closings?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am now getting into an area where I can’t give the hon. Leader of the Opposition a total answer. I don’t think that that is, in fact, the case. I am only going by memory now, but I believe there is a hospital in Virgil; there is one in Kemptville; there are about 10 altogether, those are two. I don’t believe that I have had representations, for instance, from Copper Cliff; I am not sure of that, certainly I haven’t met with them. Really the four that I have met with who have presented the situations to me are Clinton, Durham, Doctors Hospital, and Paris-Willett.


Mr. S. Smith: A question to the Treasurer, Mr. Speaker: Is the province going to ensure that financial assistance to school boards will at least equal this year the amount that they received last year?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I think that question should be directed to the Minister of Education.

Mr. Speaker: As a matter of fact the question was asked yesterday in the absence of the hon. member, perhaps the Minister of Education might care to answer it.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s fine, I apologize.

Mr. Speaker: The question was answered yesterday. If there is a brief reply, we will allow it.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s fine.

Hon. Mr. Wells: The answer, Mr. Speaker, is that the grant regulations are known to the boards. The rate of support, the grant per pupil for recognized ordinary expenditures, will likely be the same for most elementary boards in this province. It may be down slightly for some secondary boards, but we have put in a floor guarantee that it will not be any less than 95 per cent of the grant that it was the year previous.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary on that -- again, forgive me for not having been here -- but that is per pupil; we are speaking about where enrolment has gone down, and where the regulations now say that during a time of declining enrolment that transitional grant has now been removed, according to your new regulations. That will mean that where there is lower enrolment they will actually have lower grants this year in total than they did last year, because they will not be given a cushion with which to handle that. Would the minister please answer that question?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, yes, I would be very pleased to answer that question. I think, in keeping with the programme of restraint that we are now embarked upon, that if they have fewer pupils it will of necessity mean perhaps fewer staff, and a certain cutback in expenditures. The kind of provisions we have had in for the last few years were becoming a crutch, a crutch to boards to not cut back in keeping with their declining enrolment, and so we removed that declining enrolment position from those boards this year.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s the crutch the ministry said was never there; the fat that was not in the system.

Hon. Mr. Wells: If the member would like to talk about one of the specific boards and what money they are getting next year, I would be happy to supply him with that answer. I just want him to know that we don’t think we can keep propping up boards by paying them grants for pupils who aren’t there.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That’s called new math.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s the fat in the system, which they said wasn’t there.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Deans: I have a supplementary question. I would like to talk about one specific board; the Hamilton board has had to set back all of its budget meetings because it does not yet have the communication from the ministry in writing with regard --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Should have been there yesterday.

Mr. Deans: -- it hasn’t got it yet -- with regard to the budget and the regulations. When will they be getting those in the mail in order that they can, in fact, go ahead with the meetings that they had scheduled? I asked the minister this last week too, by the way.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, well, Mr. Speaker, I have here the communications which were sent out to every board of education in this province, and they were dated Feb. 12, 1976. If the Hamilton board didn’t have it they should have been in touch with our office before this to get it. That gives them all the information they need upon which to compute their grants. Now, the regular grant regulation --


Mr. Deans: They need the regulation.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, you don’t need those. You can compute your grants with everything that is in these documents here. The grant regulations are merely the formalizing of what is in this document here, which tells you all the figures you need to compute your grants.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary question?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I believe this question has been explored quite thoroughly yesterday; the same question was asked and the answer was given.


Mr. S. Smith: For the Minister of Community and Social Services: Since the chairman of the advisory council on day care has said that the minister has had the report of that council since Jan. 30, can the minister explain why he has not yet made this report public?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That has been answered.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Isn’t the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) talking to her colleague?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: May I repeat the question that was asked of me yesterday?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He should have been here.

Mr. Nixon: Answer, go ahead.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The member for St. George, from the member’s party, asked me the precise question yesterday.

Mr. S. Smith: I am sorry.


Mr. Speaker: Does the member for Hamilton West have any further questions?

Mr. S. Smith: No further questions.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations has an answer to a question asked previously.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: On Monday, March 15, the member for Yorkview (Mr. Young) asked me a question regarding whether or not the Norwich Union Insurance group had held discussions with my ministry prior to its announcement that it was pulling out of the insurance business in Ontario.

I am pleased to report that the Norwich Union Insurance group contacted our superintendent of insurance on March 11 to inform him that their board of directors in England had decided to cease writing insurance in Canada in the property, automobile and casualty lines because of an insurance loss of over $1 million. This group, which has operated in Canada for about 100 years, will continue to write life and marine insurance.

The superintendent of insurance has held discussions with the group’s Canadian general manager and he has assured us that he is in the process of dealing with a number of Canadian insurers to take over the Norwich Union portfolio and the agents concerned. Negotiations are still continuing and I’ve asked to be kept informed of the progress. I have also received assurances that other companies operating in Ontario will supply the market and that there is capacity within the system to do so.

I can assure the members that my office has and will continue to provide assistance to agents, to farm markets as well as to consumers who may experience any difficulty in placing their insurance needs.


Mr. Martel: A question to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: Has it been drawn to the minister’s attention that there is a severe problem with the catalytic converters in 1976 GM models which apparently leave a sulphur-like odour in the car which affects people who are suffering from chronic bronchitis?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: No, it has not been brought to my attention.

Mr. Martel: Can the minister immediately have the appropriate people within his ministry delve into it? Apparently the company cannot find a solution to the problem to this date, and it should be rectified.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: As I usually do in reply to questions of that nature, if there is a legislative remedy available to me, I would certainly exercise it.


Mr. Worton: I have a question of the Minister of Correctional Services. In his announcement of an agreement with his institution and Essex Packers along with the DeJonge Group, has he taken into consideration the concerns expressed by the members of both sides of the House as to whether he feels that his department is sufficiently protected in regard to the investments it has of over $1 million in building and equipment? Secondly, is the minister satisfied that the farmers who will be selling beef to this group are sufficiently protected in regard to payment? Thirdly, has he consulted with the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) in regard to the $1.5 million in wages, that is, holiday pay and severance pay that go to the employees?

Does he feel the ministry is getting sufficient moneys out of this firm to pay off these and has he taken any steps to protect future loss to the employees?

Hon. J. R. Smith: I would like to thank the hon. member for the number of discussions he has had with me expressing concern over a number of the firms interested in receiving this lease at the Guelph Correctional Centre, as well as other members on this side of the House. As a matter of fact, I was very pleased when the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association came to see me on Tuesday afternoon and expressed their concerns about the DeJonge proposal. At that time I laid it right before them -- what were basically the objections of the agricultural community to the DeJonge brothers as packers? It centres on only one incident in 1973 involving one of the brothers. Other than that, there is no substantiation -- or no allegation can be proved in any way regarding this family company.

As far as protection is concerned, the background of these people has been checked out by all levels of police and so on. On payment of the employees’ severance pay, I might point out to the hon. member that the employees are among the various creditors, as well as farmers and suppliers to Essex Packers. There was an overwhelming vote of all creditors to accept the proposal. Seven of the 25 objectors were beef producers. There were 22 beef producers involved in total and one of these objectors to the settlement had a claim of $14; the others are substantial amounts.

Mr. Gaunt: A supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: We will allow a supplementary. The member for Huron-Bruce.

Mr. Gaunt: Would it be fair to assume that the farmers and all of the creditors will be paid off at 15 cents on the dollar which, believe, was the latest proposal made by the group with which you have now entered into this agreement?

Hon. J. R. Smith: Mr. Speaker, the DeJonge consortium of companies has deposited with the receiver today moneys -- a cheque for $250,000 -- and the pledge of one of their properties as surety for the payment of $500,000 at 15 cents on the dollar.


Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Could the minister indicate to this House the extent to which the derelict motor vehicle recovery programme is being actively pursued by his ministry?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, that programme started last year with two pilot projects. I’m advised now that it involves over 400 municipalities in the province, mainly in central and northern Ontario. They’ve located about 11,000 abandoned vehicles and 5,000 of these vehicles were shipped to markets. It involves about $ 170,000 in provincial subsidies and we hope to involve a total of about 450 municipalities by the end of this year.


Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Energy. What is the reason for the delay in the negotiation of the agreement for the participation of Ontario in the Syncrude project? What effect is the delay having on the project itself?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the project itself is going ahead on schedule, all aspects of it -- the main plant, the pipeline and the utility plant. There are a number of agreements involved with the Syncrude participation. If the member could indicate which particular agreement he is referring to, whether it’s the utility plant agreement, the main participation agreement, some of the financial agreements or whatever, they are all --

Mr. Renwick: They’re all part of the package.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- they are all part of the package and they are all proceeding, I think, pretty well on schedule.

Mr. Sargent: A supplementary.

Mr. Renwick: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. A supplementary by the member for Riverdale.

Mr. Renwick: By way of a supplementary question: Referring to the Premier’s statement of Feb. 4, 1975 about the urgency of the project, when does the minister anticipate that the $100 million investment by the Province of Ontario will be made in the project? Or is the government reconsidering its participation regardless of the fact that the project is going ahead without the participation of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the project is going ahead with the participation of Ontario. Ontario is not considering withdrawing from the project. The $100 million represents five per cent, as members know, of the $2 billion estimate at the time at which we entered the project. Ontario has been paying its portion of the project as we’ve gone along according to interim agreements signed. The plant, it seems, will come into service on schedule in 1978.

Mr. Sargent: I have two points. Has the $100 million been paid yet? Secondly, what other provinces are involved at five per cent?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I think the current up-to-date figures would be about $20 million spent as part of our commitment to the Syncrude project. Members will recall that the governments of Canada, Alberta and Ontario are participating in the project to a total of 30 per cent. The Province of Alberta is in for 10 per cent, plus an additional amount of money which they are lending to some of the participants, plus their participation through the Alberta Energy Co. in a number of the off-site facilities -- well, really, they are on-site -- the utility plant and pipeline. As well the Alberta government is involved in Fort McMurray and in the overall project with the provision of housing, roads, bridges, sewers, schools and so forth.


Mr. Singer: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Attorney General. Could the Attorney General tell us what is going on in Ottawa in relation to --


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You have come to the fount of all knowledge.

Mr. Reid: Nobody can tell us that.

Mr. Singer: He might tell us that one, too, but where he has jurisdiction in the Crown attorney’s office -- that is what I was talking about. What is going on in the Crown attorney’s office in Ottawa in relation to those charges against certain individuals who were charged under the Code with sex offences on the basis of the evidence -- or the apparent evidence -- of a 15-year-old boy who was being treated for his mental condition? Some charges have now been withdrawn against people who have some public reputations, having sat there for many months, and those people -- at least one of whom enjoyed a position in the media -- were damned by reason of charges that are never going to be heard in court. And the Crown must have known about this.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, the matter that the hon. member refers to involves a number of cases, which resulted in the convictions of, and pleas of guilty by, a number of individuals.

Mr. Cassidy: And a lot of acquittals.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: There’s no doubt but that the one very key witness, on behalf of the Crown, was a very important witness in these proceedings. There was a charge withdrawn on Monday --

Mr. Singer: A number of charges.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am aware of charges against one individual that were withdrawn on Monday. The reason for the withdrawing of these charges was because it was felt that this witness was in ill health and simply unable to testify by reason of his ill health. And I am further advised that one of the reasons for his ill health was the extent to which he had been victimized by the events that led up to the prosecution of a number of individuals and which, as I have already indicated, resulted in conviction or pleas of guilty.

We were advised that if this young man had to be called upon to give evidence yet once again his health would deteriorate to such an extent that his very life might be in jeopardy. It was on that basis, and on that basis alone that those charges were withdrawn on Monday last.

Mr. Singer: By way of supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Doesn’t the minister know that this young man, who was supposedly the key witness in 17 individual trials, was mentally ill two years ago when the charges were first laid and that the Crown should have recognized that this was likely to happen? And in the case of non-guilty pleas the young man would not be available to give his evidence, and that this was all known to the Crown’s office and the Crown did nothing about it?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have looked into the matter fairly carefully, Mr. Speaker, and I am satisfied that the Crown attorney in Ottawa conducted himself in the best tradition of the Crown’s office in this province in the handling of that very delicate matter.

Mr. Speaker: The Minister of the Environment has the answer to a question. Is this a supplementary for the member for Ottawa Centre?

Mr. Cassidy: Yes, Mr. Speaker. One appreciates the minister’s concern about the witness in that particular case, but in view of the fact that not within living memory has there been charges laid against males who consort with female prostitutes in a bordello does the minister not feel any concern about what has happened to the reputation of people who were charged in this rather unusual and extraordinary case? Is he not concerned, or has he laid down any guidelines to police departments and Crown prosecutors as to what should happen in the future if material of this nature comes to their attention?


Mr. Singer: Shouldn’t happen then.

Mr. Sargent: Pretty shaggy.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: From the information which has been made available to me, I’m satisfied that the matter would be handled no differently in the future, certainly with the information the Crown counsel had available to him. If any of the members opposite have any specific allegations to make about the handling of this particular case I would like them to make these specific allegations rather than a sort of general, vague condemnation of the manner in which this was handled. If there are any facts which I do not know let me have them.

Mr. Singer: The Crown ruined several reputations by this ridiculous kind of action.

Mr. Cassidy: It ruined reputations and it led to a suicide; that is what happened.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: They are making some pretty irresponsible statements on the other side of the House and I think they should be made aware of that.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of privilege.

Mr. Speaker: A point of privilege.

Mr. Cassidy: I would say to the minister that if he would dig into the files of his predecessors, about six or eight months ago I gave a lengthy list of those kinds of complaints and I have not had a response.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please that is not a point of privilege.

Mr. Lewis: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, the minister requested any specifics from members opposite by way of complaints and they were provided.

Mr. Speaker: I didn’t recognize that as information being given.

The Minister of the Environment has the answer to a question.

Mr. Singer: If the Attorney General can’t concern himself about people’s reputations, it is a fine thing.


Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Durham East (Mr. Moffatt) asked me a question yesterday about my ministry staff being denied access to the marshland known as the Oshawa Second Marsh.

I’m advised staff were denied access in June last year. Apparently work had been undertaken by the federal Department of Public Works which obstructed the outflow of water from the marsh to Lake Ontario. However, last August, my ministry staff, along with staff from Environment Canada, made an inspection of the area in question.

On Sept. 8, a letter was forwarded from my ministry to the Oshawa Harbour Commission requesting that the obstructing material be removed to restore the natural outlet from the Second Marsh to the lake. Further inspection of this marsh will be undertaken very shortly to see that our recommendations have been carried out.

Mr. Moffatt: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question.

Mr. Speaker: We have time for a short supplementary question.

Mr. Moffatt: Supplementary to the answer: Has the material been removed from the outflow from that marsh to this date?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That’s what the further inspection will find out. I expect that will be done in time.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Presenting reports.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener presented the annual report of the Ministry of Government Services for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 1974, and ending March 31, 1975.

Mr. Cassidy: We hope it is her last.

Mr. Edighoffer from the standing miscellaneous estimates committee reported the following resolution:

Resolved: That supply in the following supplementary amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of the Environment be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1976:

Ministry of the Environment

Environmental control programme $10,000,000

Mr. B. Newman from the standing procedural affairs committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:

Your committee has carefully examined the following applications for private Acts and finds the notices, as published in each case, sufficient:

Mid Erie Acceptance Corporation Ltd.;

Borough of Scarborough;

Township of Wicksteed;

Borough of York;

Congregation of St. Andrew’s Church, Ottawa;

City of Cambridge;

McMaster University;

Township of Nepean;

Kent County Roman Catholic Separate School Board.

Your committee further recommends that copies of the Canadian Parliamentary Guide be purchased for distribution to the members of the assembly.

Mr. Speaker: Shall this report be received and adopted? Carried.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that when the House adjourns today it stand adjourned until Monday, March 29.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the report of the Provincial Auditor to the Legislative Assembly for the year ended March 31, 1975, be referred to the standing committee on public accounts.

Motion agreed to.


Clerk of the House: The government notice of motion No. 2, Hon. Mr. McKeough:

Resolved: That the Treasurer of Ontario be authorized to pay the salaries of the Civil Service and other necessary payments pending the voting of supply for the fiscal year commencing April 1, 1976, such payments to be charged to the proper appropriation following the voting of supply.

Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I want to say a word or two about this. The giving of the blank cheque to the Treasurer is always something that concerns members of the Legislature and of course that’s exactly what we’re talking about. We don’t intend to oppose it quite obviously, because it may well be that a week Monday we’ll be in the midst of an election and not have an opportunity to deal with this matter again.

Mr. Lewis: Well, I doubt it.

Mr. Deans: There are rumours drifting in this direction that that might not happen. Nevertheless, in the event that it does happen, it’s obvious that the Treasurer has to have the necessary funds to pay the civil service and to continue the ongoing programmes.

I do want to suggest to the minister in this regard that, until such time as we come to the individual programmes of the various ministries, there’s one matter I had hoped to raise within another discussion in the House and won’t have an opportunity to do so, and for that reason I wish to raise it here.

The Premier (Mr. Davis) said today that perhaps there would be a setting-back of the date for hospital closings in the Province of Ontario. We in the Hamilton area don’t anticipate any hospital closings as such, but we have been told there will be some bed reductions in the area, and the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) has indicated those bed reductions are not necessarily for the reasons of a lack of funding, but because the beds are no longer needed for active treatment care.

There are approximately 2,100 beds in the area and the minister indicates that he might be prepared to reduce that by 200. He handed the matter over to the local health council. They, in turn, gave it back to the Minister of Health because, frankly, they felt they were not in a position to make any recommendations that will effect any cuts at this time.

I want, therefore, to make a suggestion to the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) which he might well pass on to his colleague, since his colleague is going to have to spend some of this money in putting into operation the programmes that he intends to have in effect as of April 1 before we get to dealing with his estimates in the House.

I want to suggest to the Treasurer that just as there is approximately a $22,000 saving to be effected by the reduction of 220 active treatment beds in the Hamilton area, there is at this point a demonstrated need for some 360 chronic and nursing-care beds. It’s my understanding that approximately 20 per cent of the hospital beds currently in use are, in fact, being used for chronic and nursing-home care. It’s also my understanding that the average cost is about $100 per day for active treatment, and that the cost for chronic and nursing-home care would range at the level of about $30 to $40 per day, depending on the degree of care made available.

I want, therefore, to suggest to the Treasurer that when he is making his moneys available to the Minister of Health he do so in the following way; that he say to the Minister of Health, “Yes we will approve the expenditures that you are asking for in the interim supply motion, but we’ll approve it subject to you sitting down with the appropriate people in the city of Hamilton and working out a new arrangement whereby, if there is to be a reduction in active treatment beds, there will be an appropriate number of nursing-home and chronic-care beds made available to deal with people who have a great need for that and for whom those beds are not currently available.”

Now let me suggest this; if we were to make available 400 chronic and nursing-home beds in the Hamilton area in addition to those that are currently there, that would take up the 200 beds that have to be taken out of the active treatment area and would provide for 200 of the additional beds that would be needed for chronic and nursing-home care.

At this point in time, the saving in doing so, just on the 200 active-treatment beds alone, would be some $12,000 a day, falling short of the objective of the ministry of $22,000 a day by only $10,000 a day.

In addition to that, by virtue of setting up these 400 chronic and nursing-home beds we would be able to meet an immediate need, we would be able to maintain employment at the current level within the various hospitals that we are talking about and we would, therefore, not further dislocate the people involved in providing health care in the area.

The 200 additional beds that would be made available would be used to provide for a demonstrated need. We are not asking for all 360 that are needed, but simply 200 of them.

I want to suggest further that the Treasurer discuss with the Ministry of Health officials who must make these decisions the possibility of using the facility at Chedoke Hospital, of leaving there a small but active emergency treatment facility; leaving there all of the facilities currently used for rehabilitation purposes, and then turning the remainder of that facility over to chronic and nursing-home care.

The effect of this would be that the 20 per cent of the active treatment beds currently in use and the variety of general hospitals would be no longer needed. Those people who are currently using those $100-a-day beds could be transferred to the new facility at Chedoke into $40-a-day beds. The staff that is currently on staff at Chedoke would then continue to provide the care. The staff that is currently available and being used in the general hospitals could be transferred to the Chedoke facility and we would find that if there was any, there would be very little dislocation of employment, that if there was a need for a reduction in employment that could be taken care of over a short period of time by the normal attrition process, and we would have met two needs and saved approximately the same amount of money.

I want to say to the Treasurer that my concern in health care is to make sure that we provide an adequate facility, at least in the Hamilton area and in my opinion throughout the province, to ensure that those who need care can get care within their capacity to pay.

I believe it is possible, with a programme similar to the one that I have outlined to the minister, that this could be done, at least for the Hamilton-Wentworth area. I am also convinced that there are many other areas, many other regions, which could do likewise. There is no need -- in fact that would be folly -- for the ministry to pursue the programme that it currently has of reducing the active treatment beds without providing adequate facilities for chronic and nursing-home care and without taking into account important factors, If you proceed with the reductions that you are talking about, it will inevitably mean a reduction in the staff. If it means a reduction in the staff it will have an overflow effect on those people in the community who may well be considering the possibility of entering health care as a profession. Those people will be diverted --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. May I point out that I believe the hon. member is discussing an entirely different subject?

Mr. Deans: No.

Mr. Speaker: We are voting supply here --

Mr. Deans: I know.

Mr. Speaker: -- not discussing the advantages and disadvantages of nursing homes, or what have you.

Order, please.

I think it is proper to exemplify the voting of supply for such things, but to debate the case of nursing home beds vs. active treatment beds, it seems to me that’s another field completely.

Mr. Deans: I would, on your interjection Mr. Speaker, put this to you: That between now and the day the Minister of Health’s estimates are tabled in the House and dealt with, the Minister of Health will, by virtue of this motion, be given all of the money necessary to implement all of the programmes which he has indicated will commence on April 1.

Mr. Speaker: If I might point out, I agree that --

Mr. Deans: No, no.

Mr. Speaker: -- it is a matter of voting supply for whatever necessary expenditures that have to be made.

Mr. Deans: And I have said that I am prepared to vote that supply on the following conditions: That the Treasurer put to the Minister of Health and his ministry that within that area these matters I am most concerned about he considered; and I think that’s quite well within my rights. I think I am entitled to put to the minister that if he wants roe to give him a blank cheque to spend money from now until such time as I have an opportunity to discuss the actual estimates of any ministry, then I am entitled to suggest to him there are certain things which have to be considered by that minister and the other ministers involved.

Mr. Speaker: Yes, I think the matter of the one type of bed vs. the other does not enter into it.

Mr. Deans: It does; it shows how to save money.

Mr. Speaker: It is a matter of voting supply. I agree you are illustrating it, so the hon. member may continue.

Mr. Deans: Thank you very much. I appreciate that very much, thank you. Now you have really done it, because I don’t remember where I was. What was the last word; could you tell me?

Mr. Renwick: “But.”

Mr. Deans: Which “but” was it, though? Oh dear, where was I? Maybe the Treasurer could tell me, since he was listening so intently?

Mr. Ruston: You were out of order, that’s what happened.

An hon. member: Start over again.

Mr. Deans: I guess I will have to start over, because I can’t remember.

Well anyway, without going into it any further, I will say this to the Treasurer: I am always reluctant, particularly since I’ve already indicated non-confidence in the government, to give him a blank cheque. I am reluctant to say to him: “Yes, go ahead and spend in whatever way it pleases, without any recourse to the legislative process”; at least not before the next election, assuming my colleagues from the Liberal Party proceed with their foolhardy amendment to the amendment.

I want to suggest to him that he should certainly make known to the Minister of Health that I make this suggestion in good faith. I make this suggestion believing full well that there is an opportunity for the government of the province to save money -- which is what we are all interested in -- while at the same time providing for all of the active-treatment bed needs; while at the same time providing for the chronic and nursing-home needs; while at the same time not dislocating the employment of so many dedicated people. I remember now where I was; thank you very much.

What I was saying was the Treasurer has to bear in mind that for a great many people who are currently either in school or in the process of entering schools related to social services and health, they may well be dissuaded, as a result of this government’s actions, from pursuing that career. At some point within the next decade, he will be screaming and shouting at us, when we are in government, that there aren’t enough nurses and there aren’t enough people in social services. And it will be because the Treasurer and the Minister of Health and the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor), have effected cutbacks which are not well thought out; they are ill-advised.

So I say to the Treasurer, if he wants this money he has to undertake these kinds of things as a possible way of ensuring that the saving he is trying to get allows the provision of the health-care delivery system that we all think is so necessary in the Province of Ontario.

Beyond that, one final point dealing with the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) and the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow), it’s small, but important to the area I represent. The Minister of Housing decided some time ago to build a HOME project on Saltfleet Mountain, as it was then known; it’s now known as the town of Stoney Creek. The Minister of Housing built this some considerable distance away from any other built-up area and as a result there is no public transit. The city of Hamilton owns the only public transit system.

Neither the Minister of Transportation and Communications nor the Minister of Housing is prepared to enter into any subsidy programme to ensure there is public transit. I want to suggest that in the consideration of the expenditures of this government from April 1 until such time as we deal with Housing, or until such time as we deal with Transportation and Communications, some serious consideration be given to the plight of the people who are living in homes far removed from the normal routes of communication or transportation and who do not have any public transportation available to them.

With those two comments, which are parochial in nature, I say to the Treasurer he should spend this money very wisely. I hope maybe after April 1 we’ll have an opportunity to look more closely at where he intends to raise the revenue in order to spend what he’s been overspending and over-borrowing in the last number of years.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, traditionally the motion has been put before the House each year which gives the Treasurer the right to spend the money put into the estimates for the next successive 12 months in the fiscal year. Complaints have been put forward by opposition members and I believe, really, they have been echoed by supporters of the government -- at least in general terms -- that very few Houses give this sort of a blank cheque to the Treasurer -- that is, one full year’s supply. In this instance it might amount to something in excess of $12 billion.

There are, of course, remedies available to this House during the period in which we are in session, that is in the fiscal year during which this expenditure would be authorized. But the feeling is very much in the minds of the members in opposition, and surely elsewhere, that our extensive debates on the estimates are a bit futile in that this motion approves the expenditure in total. I don’t know of any other House in any democratic jurisdiction where the House is asked to approve such tremendous carte blanche responsibility on the part of the Treasurer without some adequate, let’s say more easily understood and observed, safeguards.

I personally don’t believe the motion itself should be a vehicle for extensive discussions as to precisely how the moneys are to be spent. But I would suggest that I feel quite strongly that our procedures should be patterned after other Houses where the members are asked to approve supply not in blocks of one year but perhaps on a quarterly basis. Some legislatures and parliaments do it more frequently than that.

I believe, as well, there is a possibility of an election in the next few weeks and a new parliament will be back here -- it is quite possible it will be a new parliament, perhaps even a new government -- examining the business of the House some time later in this year.

I would hope that the minister would give some consideration to following the traditions in other democratic parliaments by not asking for a full year’s supply. It’s true that the voting of supply has been used in the Parliament of Canada in the past -- by the Conservative Party which was then in opposition -- as a lever perhaps to extract from the government of the day certain concessions in matters of policy and administration. There have been chances, I suppose, that supply would run out because an intransigent opposition would refuse to vote supply until amendments to government policy came forward.

There are, however, political balances and checks in this connection. If the opposition refuses to vote supply so that the public service is not paid or certain pensions are withheld, of course, I believe there is a danger of irresponsibility in that connection. Weighted against that, surely, is the unreasonable request from the government that this House be asked to give them a blank cheque for what will be in excess of $12 billion.

It is true we will have ample opportunity to discuss in detail the expenditure of those dollars during the life of this Legislature or its successor, if in fact there is an election. But still it seems an unreasonable way for a democratic government to proceed. With that in mind, I would move an amendment to the motion, seconded by the hon. member for Huron-Bruce (Mr. Gaunt).

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Nixon moves that the words “for the fiscal year commencing April 1, 1976,” in the third and fourth lines be deleted; and the following substituted, “for the period commencing April 1, 1976, and ending June 30, 1976.”

Mr. Nixon: The motion would now read:

“That the Treasurer of Ontario be authorized to pay the salaries of the civil service and other necessary payments pending the voting of supply, for the period commencing April 1, 1976 and ending June 30, 1976. Such payments to be charged to the proper appropriation following the voting of supply.”

Now Mr. Speaker, if you will just permit me a moment or two before you put the motion. As I say, there will be ample opportunity for debate in this House, or another with other membership; there will finally be an approval of the vote of supply, usually in December of the calendar year; but I would suggest, sir, that this change, while in no way interfering with the responsibility the government has to meet its commitment, does leave a considerably greater degree of responsibility with the members of this House.

I would urge, Mr. Speaker, not only that the NDP accept the motion, but the Treasurer might well consider accepting it as well.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Nixon’s motion is now before us. Any further discussion on this? The hon. minister.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, briefly: I am sure the member for Wentworth and officials of both the Ministries of Health, of Housing and of Transportation and Communications, who will undoubtedly read the Hansard of this particular discussion, will take the comments which may have merit so far as Wentworth and active-treatment and chronic-treatment beds are concerned into consideration in their plan-making.

I would simply say to the former leader of the third party that I have no objection to his amendment to our motion. I would point out, however, that the committee studying the report of the Camp committee on the Legislature is looking at exactly this. I frankly would prefer to leave that subject to their deliberations and to look at ft a little bit more closely than obviously we are able to look at it here this afternoon. I am not sure when that committee will report, but that is one of the things they are deliberating on, about which they questioned the Chairman of Management Board (Mr. Auld) and myself when we appeared before the committee. Perhaps that aspect has not reached the former leader and the caucus, but that is something they are looking at and it seems to me it might have been more reasonable to leave this matter to the advice of what I will call the Morrow committee.

I would simply point out that all the arguments which the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk made, have been made on a number of occasions, and I might be so bold as to say more brilliantly and more eloquently by the former member for Sudbury among others. But I was glad to have this member’s contribution to this ongoing debate. When he first entered the House, certainly when I first entered the House, the budget was introduced, the estimates were introduced, and they were all passed by March 30, and this particular motion was not necessary. I think this particular motion was introduced for the first time in 1965 or 1966, when overall approval was put beyond the date of April 1 and this became necessary.

Mr. Nixon: Do you recall whether or not it passed without debate the first time?


Hon. Mr. McKeough: The first time? No, I think the member for Sudbury, as I recall, talked eloquently, much more eloquently than the former Leader of the Opposition, about the right of Her Majesty the Queen to ask the assembly for money and -- well, let’s not go into that.

It should be pointed out that if we are trying to keep things in perspective, there has been a debate going on this week -- it is not yet finished, it will be resumed again this afternoon as I understand it; it has been going on in committee for the better part of a week -- which has nothing to do with the estimates for the year ending March 31 next. All that debate, as I have heard it and read about it, has to do with the following year. I am speaking about the supplementary estimates.

So that the matters raised by the member for Wentworth, awl in effect by the former Leader of the Opposition, are being debated under the heading of supplementary estimates; and I might say, Mr. Speaker, being very strict about it, it is completely out of order, because it is not the supplementary estimates that are being debated at all.

With respect to the Ministry of Health, for example, it is completely with respect to a policy or policies which presumably will be given effect in spending estimates beginning April 1, 1976, rather than for the year ending March 31, 1976, which is what the supplementary estimates are all about.

I would only point out one further matter, and that is -- and I say this to the former Leader of the Opposition with respect -- it isn’t a blank cheque. The government fully laid out on December last what its spending plans were for this coming year. Those figures have been before the public. We went across this province. We tabled in the House a figure, I believe of $12,512 million; it may have been $12,520 million.

Those figures do change, the percentages change, but on every occasion I have said that as Management Board has completed its studies for the estimates, as there have been appeals to cabinet back and forth, and discussions, obviously the figures have changed somewhat. I can tell the member that I think the spending estimates which will be tabled -- and perhaps a set of them may be tabled, I don’t know, before the budget on April 6, there may be one hook ready for tabling by the Chairman of Management Board -- I can tell him that the total of the four books, the total which will show up in my budget, will be within $100 million of that figure --

Mr. Nixon: What was the amount?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: It is $12,512 million, as I recall it. There will not be a significant variation in any of the figures, I think it is fair to say, from the spending estimates which I tabled in the House last December and which have been discussed at some length across this province. I say that because, in effect, half of the budget became known on that date, and the other half -- that concerning revenues and economic outlook -- will be known, the Lord willing, on April 6 in this House, at 8 o’clock at night.

I am anxious to read it and I hope hon. members are anxious to hear it. I have no trouble in accepting the amendment to my motion proposed by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Shall the amendment moved by Mr. Nixon carry?

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Speaker: The motion, as amended, is carried.

Introduction of bills.


Mr. Swart moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to establish the Automobile Insurance Rate Control Board.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Swart: The purpose of this bill, Mr. Speaker, is to freeze automobile insurance rates, effective Jan. 1, 1976. The bill also establishes an automobile insurance rate control board which would have the power to approve and adjust automobile insurance rates in recognition of the savings accruing to insurance companies from seatbelt use and reduced speed limits, and to conduct public hearings dealing with rate increases.


Mr. Spence moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Kent County Roman Catholic Separate School Board.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Morrow moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Township of Nepean.

Motion agreed to, first reading of the bill.


Mr. Warner, on behalf of Mr. Wildman, moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Township of Wicksteed.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Haggerty moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to provide a mechanism whereby the minister can order parties to a strike or lockout to end the strike or lockout for a period of 60 days, during which time the parties try to reach a settlement,


Mr. Haggerty moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to relieve Persons from Liability in respect of Voluntary Emergency Medical and First Aid Services.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Haggerty: The purpose of the bill is to relieve persons from liability in respect of voluntary emergency medical and first aid services.


Mr. Haggerty moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to provide for the Establishment of Safety Committees.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Haggerty: The purpose of the bill is to establish a safety committee which shall have equal representation from both employers and employees in the industry and that employees will have an input respecting their safety in industry.


Mr. Leluk, in the absence of Mr. Drea, moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act respecting the Borough of Scarborough.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.


Mr. Davidson moved first reading of bill intituled An Act respecting the City of Cambridge.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.

Clerk of the House: The 27th order, House in committee of supply.


Mr. McClellan: On a point of order.

Mr. Chairman: On a point of order, the member for Bellwoods.

Mr. McClellan: I would like to remind the Chairman that when we adjourned the House at 6 o’clock last night the Chairman ruled that he would recognize the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) as the first speaker when we went back into committee to discuss these estimates further.


Mr. Chairman: I am aware of that commitment. I understand the minister hadn’t completed his response to the opening remarks of the member for Bellwoods, but there was a commitment by the Chair that the first speaker, when we resumed consideration of these estimates today, would be the member for St. George. Unless I hear some very strenuous and compelling reasons why that commitment shouldn’t be upheld, I will recognize the hon. member for St. George.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: May I say that naturally I must comply with the Chair’s ruling, but I want to make it abundantly plain that I had hoped to reply fully to the member for Bellwoods prior to the Liberal critic making her remarks. However, apart from the fact that now that reply will be separated from subsequent remarks, I can’t offer anything more compelling than that. I am at the mercy of the Chair and, naturally, I will abide whatever the Chair rules, but I want to make it abundantly plain that I have not finished responding and I wish to have that opportunity.

Mr. Chairman: You will be given an Opportunity to complete whatever comments you still had. In view of what happened yesterday in the lead-off, I would say there was a far-ranging debate on all the activities of the Ministry of Community and Social Services -- far wider, I must say, than anything anticipated by the Chair. With that in mind and with the cooperation of the member for St. George, she has the floor.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Chairman, I sat and listened to the statements by the critic of the opposition and I intend to take advantage of this opportunity to develop my overview in the same way as that accorded to that member. I regret the minister did not conclude his remarks, but when I yielded to give him the opportunity, I believe he made a commitment to me that he would not be unduly long and, without meaning to be provocative, I found him interminable. That’s all I can say.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I could say the same about you.

Mrs. Campbell: I am sure.

During the course of the minister’s remarks, he spoke with pride of the welfare programmes in this province. I think the people of the province have had an opportunity to have some pride, particularly in the Metropolitan area, because there the creative kinds of programmes were developed by the municipal government.

I would point out to this House that this is one of the few provinces which require the municipal government to participate financially in the general welfare assistance budgeting. Of course, therefore, when the minister makes his remarks -- and I don’t know that anyone yet understands what his remarks are -- as to just what portion he is going to pay even of that programme, certainly it means that the municipalities are going to have to cut back on those very programmes.

It has been said so many times that if you are in public life and you leave it and are gone for 10 years, you will probably come back and debate the same things you were debating 10 years ago. It is interesting to me, when I look at the cutbacks here to see the kinds of things that Metro is going to have to cut back; dental programmes, for example. I can recall vividly having before us at Metro some dentists from the University of Toronto, who indicated that what we were doing at that time was barbarian. At that point all we could do was remove teeth, even healthy teeth. We could not fill them, we could not do any correctional work. Now, apparently, by reason of the lack of planning policies of this government, we are going to be back in this same position.

I suppose, Mr. Chairman, as a simple person, I will be permitted the opportunity to draw some parallels in some of this budgeting. I am delighted the Minister of Government Services (Mrs. Scrivener) is here, because when one is discussing services to people and services to plants we aren’t really discussing the same thing. I would like her to understand that -- since undoubtedly she does not understand it -- and we believe it’s a matter of priority.

I refer to a Globe and Mail report which was dated Jan. 23, 1976. I recognize that some things have changed since then, but it’s interesting that at that time Godfrey -- whom I take to be Paul Godfrey, not notably a radical -- stated to the minister: “Your law forces us to make these payments, but when you cut back the portion you pay, you force us to increase our payments from 24.8 per cent to over 29 per cent”.

So much, then, for the legal position of this government in dealing with the matter of its proper apportionment between itself and the Metropolitan municipality.

But interestingly enough in that same article, Ray Tomlinson, the Metro social services commissioner, stated that Metro may have to cut the item for dentures and dental care, which I’ve already mentioned. And I would like to draw your attention to an item of $65,000 for eyeglasses. That to me is an important and vital matter; and it’s interesting to me that the Minister of Government Services could expend $67,500 to refurbish the vice-regal suite in the light of that statement.

Then we see that the $10,000 for summer camps may have to be cut. It’s interesting that again that same minister would give priority -- because that’s what it amounts to -- to purchasing 429 tropical plants for an office of Transportation and Communications, at an expenditure of $19,000. Then so that we wouldn’t overwork any of our civil servants, we provided a programme for the care and Feeding of those plants at a cost of some $30,000 over a two-year period.

I think, Mr. Chairman, this is what it’s all about as we discuss this minister’s programme. It is a matter of priorities, a matter of commitment to services to people -- necessary, vital services to people.

The minister has spoken about the $6 million for new daycare centres, but nowhere has he discussed the fact that that $6 million has been used over and over again in the estimates. It’s left over because it wasn’t used before. But we’re going to hear about that ad nauseam, and he is not levelling with the people of this province when he keeps on using it.

He denied it yesterday -- but he didn’t deny the article as it appeared in the press; he did not rise on a point of privilege to correct it -- and it was quite clearly stated that he said mothers ought to go to work. That’s his position. He hasn’t said that in the Metropolitan Toronto area there are 35,000 children, under the age of 12 who are children of single-parent families, and that there are only some 6,682 places -- I believe that is the figure -- for those children in the metropolitan area. I suppose we can find sky-hooks or something for them. But this a plan; this is a programme? Forget it.

He spoke about the fact that he has 11 officers in Manpower offices. I do hope he will elaborate on that, because I would like to know whether these are additional members of his staff or members who have simply been allocated to these offices. In the course of the discussion in this House about these single parents, these mothers, he mentioned -- I hope, somewhat out of context -- the word “Teperman.” It’s most interesting to me. Teperman -- uh huh? It’s most interesting to me that this minister believes he is going to be able to match people to jobs.

You know, when I was early in the field of welfare at the city, I had such dreams. I spent summers going down through industries trying to arrange something whereby we might match people to jobs and help people to get into the productive market. Teperman’s is one place which had lobs. I had men who were on welfare -- unemployed employable men who did want to get jobs. I can recall going to the then commissioner of welfare at Metro and asking whether we could provide the safety boots, if we could get these men involved and if they were interested. We even went that far to say, yes, we would. But when those men showed up for work the problem was they couldn’t meet the physical specifications for the job. They were unemployed employables, but there were limitations to what their employability was. Yet the way this minister states it, one would think that we could just roll it out and we would have people in the job market.


Certainly, I don’t know where we’re going to find the jobs for these women who are single heads of families, even if we had the day care. What does this profit us if we have a mother of five children and she can command $80 a week -- what does it profit any of us? I suppose that we could take the young people out of school, as the minister seems to suggest. But what is the cost in the long run if we don’t have these young people educated? What does it do but prolong the welfare cycle?

I have an article from the Barrie Examiner: “Homes For The Aged -- Fatal, Grim Year.” The article asks the question as to how we get around the increased costs for fixed items and still stay within the 5.5 per cent increase? I’m quoting Peter Laidlaw, the administrator of the IOOF home for the aged in Barrie: “If the government is going to hold us to that, I don’t see anything else but to cut staff and programmes.”

If they cut staff they may well be in great difficulty in some of these homes, because staff is needed. These are old people, and most of them are there because they need some kind of caring. I had the opportunity not too many weeks ago to visit one of my own riding’s homes and to deliver on behalf of the Premier (Mr. Davis) and, hopefully in some respect, on behalf of myself, a plaque to a lady who was 105 years old. It is true that she had lived on her own in the community until the year before, but she’s in there and she’s very active and she’s very independent. It’s that very independence of some of these people which creates problems for themselves; and without staff we could see some tragedies in these places.

But what does it matter to a government that cares so little about these human needs and puts, as my colleague said the other day, plants ahead of patients?

Mr. Riddell: And a price tag on people.

Mrs. Campbell: There is no question that some of these programmes are costly, but let me tell you, Mr. Chairman, it may be even more costly if we don’t have the programmes.

I had mentioned day care before and I had mentioned the fact that it is a desire to have women work. I’m going to refer back to the same article in the Globe and Mail of Jan. 30, which discusses a blind lady who has no place to send her two-year-old daughter while she works, because the Ontario government cutback on Metro social services will deny her day care. She applied for day care in order to go to work for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. So she can’t go. I wonder just where this ministry feels it is accomplishing either economy or social solutions.

We hear about the possible closing of Hilltop Acres, which accommodates 200 senior citizens. What does it matter to a government which is unthinking and insensitive to the needs of these people? If you could listen to some of the older people in this community. On the one hand we want to keep people in their own homes because it is overall less costly, but let’s keep them there and cut out all the services that make it possible for them to stay. Meals on Wheels is a real off-the-top-of-the-head kind of project to remove in time of restraint. I wonder what kind of economist is looking at that kind of a programme.

I would like the minister to explain to me -- correct me if I am wrong in the information that I have -- why certain salaries of homemakers, for example, appear to be frozen at a time when, at least in this area, it has become increasingly difficult to get women into this field because they can earn more clerking in stores, for shorter hours, and the work is not as difficult. Why should they stay in the homemaking service? And yet surely again, that is a vital service to people in the homes, a vital service in maintaining some kind of existence for such people.

I suppose the minister will make a comment at last on his precise legal position with reference to municipalities. I would like his explanation as to why he thinks Metro should bear 29 per cent of the cost, rather than 20 per cent. I really don’t think he should stand up in this House and explain that he does not think they will need the budget which they have provided for.

A welfare budget is something like a snow removal budget in a municipality. You never know. You just never know. This year I’ll lay you odds there have been some problems in municipalities in coping with snowfalls which they didn’t anticipate. But this minister says, “With our new guidelines we are not going to have to worry. We are not going to have to worry and municipalities don’t have to worry. They won’t have the kind of loads they anticipate.”

Municipalities are in a position in which they have to estimate with a degree of reality because they can’t get into the position of deficit financing. The thing that is so difficult at this point in time is that we probably won’t know the full story about these cutbacks until, likely, February or March of next year.

It is to be wondered what happens at that point in time when municipalities present their proper, legitimate bills for their services -- mandatory services to people -- and the minister -- I can just see this minister, can’t you -- would delight in saying “Sorry, old boy, you’ve exceeded your allocation by this ministry. Find the money yourself.”

That is precisely what municipalities are so deeply worried about today. Believe me, when Paul Godfrey comes out worrying about it, you’ve got to know there is a real worry.

Mr. Lawlor: You’re darn right.

Mrs. Campbell: Right? Yes. It is most unlikely that he would ever say anything at all that might in any little way embarrass this government. He must have been driven to it.

I am not going to cover those items which have already been covered by the critic for the opposition, just in the interests of time, but I do feel that I must speak of the children’s aid programme just slightly. I recognize that the minister has apparently given a reprieve to the Metro Children’s Aid Society.

Mr. McClellan: Seven per cent isn’t exactly a reprieve.

Mrs. Campbell: Well, it’s a little better than 3.1. The real problem with this kind of a programme goes even deeper than the financial one. What this kind of a programme does is to set agency against agency, to make them compete for the dollar instead of being in a position of trying to be supportive together. I think we saw that in the early statements coming from the Catholic Children’s Aid Society. It was interesting to me, though, to find that notwithstanding their very gallant stand that they would indeed live within the 5.5 per cent, they couldn’t do it. Perhaps when they were able to demonstrate that they needed far more than the 5.5 per cent, it was then that the minister was no longer able to use them as a kind of alibi in making Metro Children’s Aid the whipping boy in this service.


One of the things that bothers me again is the economics. The Metro Children’s Aid Society has a programme and it’s a preventive programme. While I’m not satisfied that the costs are truly adequate, they are and have been able to provide for a child in a home at $3 a day. That is the kind of programme that will have to be cut even now under this cutback. But if that child is taken into care the cost in care will be a minimum of $13 a day instead of $3. I don’t know whether that strikes anybody here as making any sense at all if we’re talking about restraint, but it’s always that kind of a programme that gets cut.

One of the things that has bothered me for some time is the whole matter of the group homes. I suppose it has bothered me because the group homes which look after girls in our society usually work out to be more costly in dollars than the group homes for our boys because the girls are so much more damaged for the most part and because they need a more sophisticated staff and a lower, tighter ratio of staff to child. It’s possible that that’s the service that will be cut for group homes because if we can care for more people cheaper maybe that is the approach we have to take when we look at services to young people.

If only the Provincial Secretariat for Social Development -- that whole secretariat -- could have proved its worth by taking the costs of services such as Children’s Aid and looking at the cost of special education where there hasn’t been any agency assistance or support; looking at the cost of correctional institutions -- they couldn’t ask this minister to get involved in examining that; looking at the cost to health, then maybe we could come closer to a decent approach, a human approach. Yet the only thing that counts with this government is the monetary solution. Even there, we might at least save money if we put together the services that are so desperately needed, but no.

Mention was made of family services and I’m not going into the fact of the loss of a camp for the disabled child. That’s a good programme to cut, and that’s the programme that will be cut. Here again is this strange dichotomy where the left hand of this government doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, because they want family services to take on more of a role in the community. Of course, now there’s really no excuse for it because the policy of returning the mentally retarded to the community and thus calling upon family services to assist is now in this ministry. But to cut the life-blood of that kind of an agency and expect the service!

I think the agencies should be very proud of the fact that this ministry expects so much of them, relies so heavily upon them. It reminds me somewhat of a story of a friend of mine who had had a great many problems and she said, “You know, it gets more difficult to hear these problems. People keep saying to me, the back is made for the burden. Your shoulders are broad, you can handle it’.” She finally said, “That’s all very well but I wish the good Lord did not have so much faith in me.”

I think the agencies are taking that position today, because they feel this government really has ten much faith in their ability to create miracles.

It’s very interesting that this government also has great faith in the municipalities. It counts on the fact that municipalities will not cut services if they can possibly avoid it, because municipalities are close to the people and they understand their needs. The inevitable conclusion, of course, is that they must increase their taxes. The people and pensioners concerned, the senior Jewish clubs, the senior citizens clubs, are saying, “Why place that additional burden on us, those of us who own our own homes or live in rented property, because it only makes it tougher for us to live?”

Why is it that this government has never followed the example of those other provinces which do not require the municipalities to pay for general welfare assistance? I perhaps could not expect this province to lead, but surely it could follow, and leave to the municipalities -- if that is what they want to do -- the provision of those services which add, if we may call it, a more abundant living to people. But no, we mustn’t do that. We must cut back and we must cut back on all those services which make it possible for people to live rather than to exist.

I could go on. I could read to you from all of these articles which I have here, but what is the purpose? We could talk on and on and on about the lack of decent nutrition. We could talk on and on and on about the disabled in our community but what useful purpose would be served?

It was interesting yesterday to hear the Premier (Mr. Davis) say the opposition parties are creating an unnecessary election, but he didn’t say that he was prepared to withdraw from the intransigent position of this government in services to people.

Perhaps now the minister may reply to both of the opposition critics. I trust that his answers would be explicit and not the usual rambling that we have been hearing in this House. But I repeat that it’s possibly only coming from the mind of a very simple person.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I won’t make reference to your last remark.

Mr. Riddell: Don’t touch it.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I may say “uncomplicated” but I’ll not say “simple.” So if my remarks are rambling it will only be because I am following the sequence and the subject as they are presented and as they have unfolded in the Legislature. I will, of course, proceed with my reply and comments in that order.

Going back to yesterday, we left off in the area of general welfare and the question of tax-backs of moneys that would be earned or could be earned by welfare recipients. My friend’s from Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) and Sudbury East (Mr. Martel), the present and previous critics of the New Democratic Party for this ministry, accuse me of not stating the provisions of the General Welfare Assistance Act insofar as they applied to the payment --

Mr. McClellan: It’s discretionary; you tell me where it is different?

Mr. Chairman: Order, please, the hon. minister has the floor.

Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: What is your point of order?

Mr. Foulds: There is no quorum, Mr. Chairman.

The Chairman ordered that the bells be rung for four minutes.


Mr. Chairman: We now have a quorum. The hon. minister may continue.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Chairman, I made mention of the fact that the members for Bellwoods and Sudbury East were uninformed in terms of the provisions of the General Welfare Assistance Act, and for their edification and information I might refer them to section 12 of that Act, and I’ll quote in part:

“The welfare administrator may exempt, (1) an amount up to a maximum of $50 monthly for a single person or up to a maximum of $100 monthly for a head of a family, and (2) an additional amount up to a maximum equal to 25 per cent of the amount by which his wages, salary, casual earnings or the net income from an interest in or operation of a business exceeds the monthly exemption to which he may be allowed under subsection (i).”

In other words, there is that provision for exemption of income to those amounts under the General Welfare Assistance Act, as it is mandatory under the provisions of the Family Benefits Act. I thought that should be clarified in view of the contrary position taken by those members.

Mention was made by the member for Bellwoods that there is a problem of jobs and not welfare abuse. Certainly, I alluded to a tightening up of certain regulations and criteria in connection with the General Welfare Assistance Act and those regulations are expected to come forward by the end of this month. There is the dismissal of any change by my friend, who implies that no tightening up or change is necessary. I may say that the present general welfare assistance regulations stipulate that in order to be eligible --

Mr. McClellan: Have you 25,000 jobs up our sleeve?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- an applicant or recipient must be willing to accept regular full-tithe employment for which he is capable. I am saying that not all jobs are regular and full-time. There are employment opportunities in Ontario which may be regular part-time, periodic full-time, or simply part-time. I know that statistics were quoted by your leader to which you alluded, then adopted, to indicate that in 1975 there was a monthly average of 8,700 employable single males on the general welfare assistance rolls. They were supposedly there as a result of their inability to obtain regular full-time employment. The question to consider, in my estimation, is whether a single employable male needs to remain on general welfare assistance if the other job alternatives I have outlined are open to him.

Mr. McClellan: A day in the scrapyards.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: If a part-time job is available and the applicant is able to do it, he could avail himself of that opportunity. If necessary, his earnings would supplement the social assistance until he can return to full-time employment.

I see nothing wrong with that. You object but, of course, I’m not surprised at that objection.

Mr. Warner: Where are the jobs?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Your leader also made reference, as you have, to 13,300 single females, 4,000 of whom are employable. I don’t know whether you find anything wrong with the approach that these women should avail themselves of the employment opportunities for single males that I have outlined.

Mr. McClellan: A day in the scrapyards.

Mr. Warner: Where are the jobs?

Mr. Makarchuk: Where are the jobs?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The fact remains that you continue to confuse -- and I think deliberately so -- the requirement of full-time regular employment with the proposition of part time or casual employment.

Mr. Makarchuk: You tell us where the jobs are.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You do not subscribe --

Mr. Makarchuk: I’ll send you the people and you find them the jobs.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- to the work ethic and you refuse to acknowledge it. There is no way that I convince you of it.

Mr. Warner: Drake Personnel will find them jobs.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: There is no way I can convince you of it. You’re dedicated in your opposition to the work ethic.

Mr. Burr: We don’t believe in work!

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Again, the member for Bellwoods once more alluded to the cutbacks on work activity projects. I won’t repeat what I said yesterday in terms of the moneys that were allocated in the budget for work activity programmes. I cited a figure in excess of $1 million at that time which involved something over 16 programmes.

Mr. McClellan: One million dollars out of $1 billion.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It’s up to the municipalities to implement those. We also have worked with three municipalities who were interested in assisting the working poor. We have those programmes, as you know, under way in Metropolitan Toronto --

Mr. McClellan: Can you force them to cut back?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- in Peterborough and in Ottawa-Carleton. You call that kicking people when they’re down. What we’re trying to do is to assist people back into the work force.

Ms. Sandeman: There are no women in the Peterborough programme.

Mr. McClellan: Your programme is useless.

Mr. Makarchuk: You’re not doing a darn thing.

Mr. Warner: Did your speech come from Drake Personnel?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Again, reference was made by my friend to the Children’s Aid Societies. As that has come up on a number of occasions, I will deal with that in a moment.

Mr. Davidson: You don’t have any friends in the Children’s Aid Societies.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The accusation levelled by the opposition is that I have proposed that comfort allowances be confiscated. May I explain, as they may not understand, that in homes for the aged the payment for care for accommodation is paid by the resident if he can afford to pay it. If he has the financial resources to pay for his own accommodation, that’s paid -- and that is drawn down to the sum of $2,000. That is his money and there was never any suggestion that that money be attached in any way.

However, it has happened in this province that the moneys that have been paid to residents of old age homes have accumulated in trust accounts. May I explain that a little further? There is a separate account or trust account set up for residents for their own spending. That is usually the sum of money that is residual to his own contribution from his pension payments or GAINS payments he may receive.

In many cases, because of such things as senility, people have not been able to spend those moneys. It is estimated that something around $10 million exists in the province in trust accounts which cannot be spent to assist the residents or help them with his accommodation expenses.

The administrators of old age homes have suggested to me that those moneys might be paid toward the keep of residents in homes, of course provided that those persons would be allowed to accumulate the sum of $500 prior to the attachment of those funds. That was the proposition. Of course, if a person is ambulatory and able to spend his comfort allowance, it would be spent and there would be no question about it. If he wanted to save that comfort allowance to buy himself a television set when he earned $500, he could spend it. There is no question about that.

The question arose about funds accumulated which could not be spent because the person was not able to spend them -- he was not mentally competent, and he had no need for the money.

Mr. McClellan: How could he buy a television set then?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Therefore, the suggestion was made that these moneys might better he paid toward his keep in the home rather than go to the estate of that person when he died, and possibly be distributed to his relatives. That was the proposition. There was no question of confiscation of comfort allowances in general terms -- and I thought you should know that.

Mr. Warner: You put the squeeze on those who cannot afford it,

Hon. Mr. Taylor: There is no question of putting the squeeze on those who cannot afford it -- and you know it! Do you understand what it costs to accommodate people in these types of residences? Do you understand what their contribution is?

Mr. Hodgson: He wouldn’t know.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You don’t have any concept.

Mr. Warner: You directed it.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. The hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere will have an opportunity later on to participate in the debate. Will the hon. minister ignore his interjections and carry on with his reply?

Mr. Riddell: Right on, Mr. Chairman.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The mention was made, or the accusation levelled by the member for Bellwoods that the elderly persons centres would be cut off, or financial assistance to them would be eliminated -- and that is not so at all. He should know, as a social worker for some 12 years, that my ministry makes grants up to $15,000 for operational purposes for those centres.

Mr. McClellan: I said the action age grant would be eliminated; don’t misquote me.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: There is no question that those --

Mr. McClellan: On a point of order.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Is there a point of order, Mr. Chairman?

Mr. McClellan: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman. The minister has misquoted me. I said the action age grants would be discontinued. I said the elderly persons centres funding would be curtailed and curtailed severely. Just so that you understand.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: Well, just so that you will understand, maybe my friend can check Hansard. My notes certainly refer to elderly persons status. There was no mention made of the action age grant. The action age grants, of course, are up to a maximum of $400 that were paid to the senior citizens clubs, and we’ve spent something in the area of $200,000 in the past fiscal year for those action age grants. What we’re talking about are payments to elderly persons centres which may be up to $15,000, and while I’ve stated that there are no new capital moneys in terms of expansion for capital projects of centres, nevertheless, the operating moneys are intact and, of course, will be paid.

Similarly, the reference to senior citizens homes or homes for the aged -- certainly, there are homes under construction and there are additions to new homes that are progressing.

They will be built in the current year, but, of course, new capital will not be allocated for those four homes.

Mention was made of the visiting homemaker services, and again, these are services purchased by the municipalities and the critics should understand that. It’s up to the municipalities in terms of determining their priorities as to whether or not they wish to continue on and to what degree with homemaker services.

Mr. Makarchuk: Not all of them. You should understand something --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: And that is, of course, up to them. They will be getting as much money as they did the year before and an additional 5½ per cent, and you can hardly call that a cutback.

Mr. McClellan: Point of order, Mr. Chairman. If I may refer the minister to Hansard for yesterday afternoon’s debate, draft copy, page 364-1: “You reduce the effective level of funding for elderly persons centres.”

Hon. Mr. Taylor: That’s right. You didn’t make mention of action age grants. You were talking about elderly persons then.

Mr. Martel: You said he reduced them.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: And as previously, we will be paying up to $15,000 grants, as we did in the previous fiscal year.

Mr. Chairman, if I may continue, the member for Bellwoods mentioned mental retardation. The question of the whole transfer to community based boards, that system has been outlined. Reference was made to this as being grotesque and that the money was being used to add additional institutions. I would like to point out very forcefully that the institutions referred to as Northeastern, Burwash and Goderich were pointed out as lust another institution, and I presume my friend was referring to schedule 1 facility. Is that correct?

First of all, your friend and colleague next to you, from Sudbury East, knows very well that it was never the intention of my ministry to create a schedule 1 facility or any other institution at Burwash.

Mr. Chairman: It may help the hon. minister to direct his comments through the Chair; then it wouldn’t provoke any interjections from members opposite.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I do not wish to be provocative and I hope my remarks are not being interpreted in that way.

Mr. Davison: Nothing could help the minister.

Mr. Warner: Your very presence is provocative.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The accusation was levelled at my ministry that Burwash was being used as a schedule 1 facility, --

Mr. Angus: His existence is provocative.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- as another institution. In fact, the proposal in that Sudbury area was made by the community, and the member for Sudbury East was an advocate of that proposal. It was with reluctance that my ministry would consider the utilization in any regard to Burwash as accommodation for the mentally retarded. It seemed to me that the image of a former penal institution or correctional institution was not the appropriate one to accommodate the mentally retarded. It was only after a great deal of pressure from the community and from the member for Sudbury East that I acquiesced to this extent, that there would never be an institution there, that there would be some accommodation provided in that complex at Burwash only if it was a part -- and a small part -- of a greater complex of developments which would provide a more normal type of setting.

In other words, if there were other residential and commercial complexes, which would really be the community focus, any housing for the mentally retarded would be in conjunction with that. It would only be an interim step from there to full integration with the community. That’s something which I think should be made abundantly clear to the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan), through you, Mr. Chairman.

The situation at Northeastern and Timmins again was a proposal for a resource centre. There was never any suggestion, and it will not be, an institution for the mentally retarded or a schedule 1 facility. My ministry and I sat down with the district working group in connection with the proposal for Northeastern and the concept, of course, is just that -- a resource centre which will reach out and service a very broad community. There will be diagnostic and other services. There will be short-term residential care; assessment; diagnostic services; and so on -- the whole concept of a resource centre as opposed to an institution. It was that concept which was agreed upon and supported in advance by the district working group. It is only on that basis, again, that we are proceeding at Northeastern.

Goderich, I must say, is a different situation. Goderich will be a centre which will, in effect, be a schedule 1 institution, the only one there is.

Mr. Riddell: Not sanctioned by the Ontario Association for the Mentally Retarded, either.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The reason for that is very simple. There has been criticism in the past, as you know very well, of the size of some of the schedule 1 facilities in this province. I make reference to Smiths Falls and to Orillia.

If we can draw down and take the pressure off those large institutions and make a better setting for some of those residents, if we can place residents closer to their homes, I think that’s a forward step. It’s not a step toward greater institutionalization. As a matter of fact, it’s a step away from institutionalization because our whole concept, our whole philosophy, is to ensure that we have de-institutionalization and a programme toward normality.

We want integration with the community. That is what we’re doing and our whole programme demonstrates that. I think that everyone who has any knowledge in this field will acknowledge that we’ve made tremendous strides in the last few years in that regard.

With respect, the critic for the opposition should have knowledge of that. I think now he may have, hopefully, a better understanding of what we are doing and what our concerns are and what our programmes are in that regard.

Mr. McClellan: Tell that to the association.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Not only do we tell it to the association, we consult with the association.

Mr. McClellan: You tell them --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We’re involved with the district working groups and the associations --


Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- which are integral parts of the working groups which, of course, manifest the community involvement in a large spectrum of services. You should know that.

Mr. McClellan: I know exactly what the association thinks of you.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You don’t know and maybe if you listen you’ll learn. Furthermore, in terms of the 5.5 per cent increase over the previous year, as it applies to the whole area of mental retardation, it is meant to apply to existing programmes as they exist now. In other words, if there is a programme in place and there’s no expansion of that programme contemplated, of course they are expected to comply with the overall parameters of government spending and the guidelines which have been set down.

Mr. Martel: Even if they went in the hole last year?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: However, may I reiterate and reinforce a view that has been expressed by me and the Premier of this province (Mr. Davis)? When the field of mental retardation was transferred from the Ministry of Health to my ministry, we made it abundantly plain that because of cost-sharing we would ensure that the additional funds we received through cost-sharing were used in the field of mental retardation to expand those facilities and to ensure that we carried on with the philosophy as manifested in the Williston report.

This government committed itself to that and that is being done. For that reason, when it comes to new programming, to an expansion of the physical plant or facilities relating to the field of mental retardation, and these do not come within the parameters of 5.5 per cent, we are allowing additional funding for those purposes because of that commitment that this government made and which it respects. I think you should know that.

Mr. Warner: That’s why the $52 million went into general revenue.

Mr. Riddell: You had to justify the cost-sharing funds that you get from the federal government.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Not at all, not at all. If you look at the spending on mental retardation in this ministry, you will see a tremendous increase over the last few years. Those additional funds are being put into this whole area.

Mr. Martel: Every cent of the federal funding.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You understand nothing about finance or accounting, and all you are doing is regurgitating in garbled form incorrect conclusions that other members of your caucus disgorged in the past.

Mr. Martel: Could I ask the minister a question? Would the minister accept a question?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Chairman, may I proceed?

Mr. Martel: You won’t answer.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You will have your chance and I will answer you. You will have your chance --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

An hon. member: Come on, Elie. You are still entrenched in the school board.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You will have a chance when the next budget comes down. In my estimates, you’ll see --


Mr. Chairman: Order, please. Will the hon. minister proceed?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- what this government is spending in the whole field of mental retardation. It may shock some of you what we are doing. We are putting in a lot more money than we are getting back from the federal government in terms of cost sharing.

Mr. Deans: By the time the next budget comes down, they won’t be your estimates, hopefully.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I won’t make reference to that because it might touch pretty close to home. Mention was made of the child welfare --

Mr. Riddell: Are you speaking of yourself now?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Chairman, may I complete my remarks?

Mr. Chairman: Order, yes. The hon. minister will continue.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mention was made of the child welfare legislation. It was stated that because of the intransigent stand of this government on the 5.5 per cent ceiling that the whole child welfare system was on the verge of catastrophe. I want to say that there are 50 Children’s Aid Societies in this province and we have been working very closely with them in terms of budgeting, not only this past year but for many years. You can see the escalating costs of operating those societies. As a matter of fact that is precisely the reason for these estimates -- or one of the reasons. That is to seek additional funding because of the need to give additional moneys to the Children’s Aid Societies in our fiscal year of 1975-1976.

Mrs. Campbell: Will they get 5.5 on top of that?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: They have had something probably in excess of a 20 per cent increase in the last year, if you want to look sit the figures. The Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society was mentioned and there seems to be some concern that the children of this province will suffer. I have made a statement that not only in this community but throughout Ontario I would ensure that, notwithstanding the constraint programmes of this government and my ministry, no one in true need would suffer. I meant that when I said it; and I still mean it.



Hon. Mr. Taylor: They will not suffer; and that applies to the children as well as adults.

Mr. Makarchuk: How come the Children’s Aid Societies do not agree with you?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You don’t agree with me either; that doesn’t make you correct. Mr. Chairman, I wish the hon. member would talk specifically instead of in general terms. The opposition critic said 50 per cent of them didn’t agree with me; now he is waving his hand and saying how come they all don’t, talking on behalf of all the Children’s Aid Societies. And when I mentioned --

Mr. Chairman: Order please, this is developing into a debate. At this time the minister will continue responding to the critics and we will get on with the estimates.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Chairman, when I toured this province and met with all of the Children’s Aid Societies --

Mr. Martel: None of them were satisfied.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I stated there were some areas of particular concern to me as they affected child care, in that added pressures may be put on those societies because of external factors over which they have little, if any, control. I said then, and I have repeated since, and consistently, that I would make every effort to ensure that where that situation occurred I would seek additional funding to accommodate those physical and financial pressures. And of course one of the reasons was the referral by the courts to Children’s Aid Societies of children who might otherwise be referred to training schools.

Mr. McClellan: But there was an increase you approved last year.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I sat down, Mr. Chairman, with the Children’s Aid Societies. I have just finished this week, as you know, working out with the Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society --

Mr. Martel: And you were working on last year’s estimates not actual --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- additional funding to ensure the whole area of child care is not disturbed in terms of financing.

Mr. McClellan: They had to threaten to resign before you would act.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: And now that my critic brings up the question of the threat to resign; and he did that in his remarks, too. Mr. Chairman, I want you to know that type of action in my estimation is not very positive or constructive in terms of trying to solve the problems of this province and meeting the needs of the people of this province.

Mrs. Campbell: What else are they supposed to do?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I don’t think it’s really a step that should be taken. Furthermore, I think that type of posturing is unwarranted and unnecessary.


Mr. Chairman: Order please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It has little influence whatsoever on my judgement in ensuring that the children are not neglected. No question about that.

Mr. Makarchuk: Nobody believes you.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Furthermore, the Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto undertook with me that it would not get involved in a confrontation or contest with the press in terms of working out our mutual problems in assisting children.

Mr. Martel: Would you do the same in Sudbury?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It was unfortunate that statement was made. However, there was nothing I could do, and I may say that if that type of situation ever did occur we would ensure there were contingency plans to ensure that the children of this province are well cared for.

Mr. Martel: You are going to do the same for every area.

Mr. McClellan: Bring them all to their knees and --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The increase of funding for the Children’s Aid Societies was worked out to accommodate increases in costs of foster parent care, of group homes and of institutional care.

Mr. Martel: Why don’t you base it on actual cost?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: There is a broad spectrum of difference in terms of the costs of all those types of care.

Mr. Martel: You are unreal.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Chairman, I think you know and I know that what we try to do is prevent the problem in the first place, which means getting into the home, where we can, to assist the parents of children. Of course the cheapest type of care is foster care, when a child is placed outside the home. If we can accommodate children in a family setting in that way we think that’s a positive step, not only economically but socially. I think that’s a sensitive and correct approach to take.

Of course we are also mindful of the fact that it’s necessary to provide for group homes with different degrees of supervision and different degrees of care, right up to the type of institutional care which, in some cases in Metropolitan Toronto, is reaching as high as $80 and possibly more per child per day.

We think, in my ministry -- and I’m convinced -- that if we can try some way to ensure that we can develop a system to prevent, really, the very costly type of subsidy to institutional care, then we’ll be making great strides. We’re doing everything we can to assist them in that direction.

Mrs. Campbell: You are unreal.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You don’t believe it?

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You believe in institutional care? We do not, in this ministry and in this government, believe in institutionalizing anyone.

Mrs. Campbell: You are unreal in your statement on that point.


Mr. Chairman: Will the members of the committee and the minister direct their observations to the Chair and not respond to the interjections from the hon. members?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Chairman, if you would ensure the control of the members opposite and their interjections, I’d be happy to concur with your ruling.

Mr. Deans: The minister’s being provocative; he really is. I think he thinks if he’s blustery and volatile --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. The hon. minister will continue.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: May I say, for the information of those opposite, that the increase to the Metropolitan Children’s Aid Society is an effective increase of 7½ per cent over the actual moneys that were spent last year.

Mr. Warner: Forced into a corner.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I think that meeting was very fruitful and I believe that the society is --

Mr. Martel: Are you going to do that for the rest of the province now?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- co-operating and no doubt they will be able to --

Mr. Cunningham: How can you call that an increase?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- work with us in solving our mutual problems.

Mr. McClellan: Is that your offer or the review board’s offer?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Certainly it’s an increase. You don’t understand the astronomical --

Mr. McClellan: We don’t understand anything you say.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- double digit figures that my friends opposite seem to want to push this government into in terms of escalating inflation and trying to push --

Mr. McClellan: We are talking about the welfare of the children of this province.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- this government continually to excessive spending. That’s what you’re trying to do; and I can tell you --

Mr. Cunningham: But you’re penalizing the efficient ones.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- that the people of this province do not believe in trying to spend and spend and spend.

Mr. Cunningham: You’re penalizing the efficient ones.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We must exercise constraints at all levels of government.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: One day you may realize --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Martel: You know something? Don Irvine used to tell us we didn’t understand about housing and he’s no longer there.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Yes, maybe --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Maybe you’ll no longer be --

Mr. Martel: He used to tell us that every day and he isn’t in that position anymore.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Keep cool now.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. Will the hon. minister continue and will the hon. members give him the courtesy of allowing him to conclude his remarks?

Mr. Deans: Quickly.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I may say that it is the intention and undertaking of my ministry to work with the Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society, to monitor their operation, their budget, their expenditures, in conjunction with the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, to ensure that everything stays on course. If there is some unexpected or unforeseen problem we will be able to catch that; and of course address ourselves to it and, I’m sure, cure it.

We’ve heard the criticism that additional staff was taken on by the Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society last fall and that now they may have a difficult time retaining the full complement of that staff. I think -- and I’m just going by memory now -- something in the neighbourhood of 115 to 120 new personnel were suggested in that regard. I believe about 90 were hired and I may say that it was the advice of my staff that they go easy on hiring additional personnel at that time. However, it is a matter that I am sure will be worked out.

The members opposite, Mr. Chairman, have been playing --


Mr. Davison: The whole province is a game to you.

Mr. McClellan: You do that; that’s your game.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- the Catholic Children’s Aid Society against the Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: The Catholic Children’s Aid Society, I think, are doing a tremendous job.

Mr. McClellan: You are the one who brought those exchanges up.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I don’t think they should be demeaned for what they are doing. I was advised by them that they could live within the constraint programme of 5% per cent. There was mention made by the critic for the opposition that they had overspent their budget. I would like to point out to him that in fact they had a surplus of $ 168,000 and have not overspent their budget. So maybe you can correct your research people in that regard.

Mr. McClellan: Can they live on 5½ per cent?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: There is some criticism of my suggestion that we must look more toward the expansion of foster care. I am accused, Mr. Chairman, in saying this, of being bizarre.

Mr. McClellan: Everything you say is bizarre.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Sure, that’s the type of big lie you want to perpetrate.

Mr. McClellan: Point of order, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: Would the hon. member state his point of privilege?

Mr. McClellan: I demand that statement be withdrawn.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You can demand all you like but what I am saying is when you say that everything that I say is bizarre, I think you are perpetrating a big lie. Because surely anyone with any common sense knows that what I am unfolding here are the facts.


Mr. Deans: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, you cannot accuse a member of lying in the House nor can you attribute to him that he may have lied. You cannot do this in this House. I ask you to ask the minister to withdraw that inference.

Mr. Kennedy: He didn’t accuse him.

Mr. Riddell: Are you telling us something we didn’t know?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Chairman, with respect, I did not accuse any member of this House of lying. I would never do that. That’s unparliamentary.

Mr. Chairman: It seems to me that the hon. minister said that he was --

Mr. Deans: If you say you don’t accuse him, that’s fine, that’s all we need.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I have said that. There was no suggestion of that.


Mr. Chairman: I have been listening and I am a little confused on what the minister said originally, but I think the problem has been resolved.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I am not surprised that the members opposite are confused, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Kennedy: They are always confused with what they say over there.

Mrs. Campbell: I distinctly heard him say --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: There was no suggestion on my part, Mr. Chairman, that foster care was an alternative to institutional or active treatment. There may be some confusion in the minds of the members opposite, but I think --

Mr. McClellan: I read that from your own press release.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- that the whole area of foster care is one area that should be developed. It is being developed by some Children’s Aid Societies more than others. I think it is a programme we could keep up. I think it is something we could stimulate and support. I think any thinking person would agree that this is an area that would be of great assistance in helping the young persons of this province who are not with their families.

Mr. McClellan: It is not an alternative.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: There was no suggestion, Mr. Chairman, that there would not be a need for group homes or for institutional care and treatment. There was never any mention of that.

Mr. McClellan: Do you want me to read your own words back to you again?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: But there is a need in this province for foster care and I think that type of care is a much more economic type of care than other accommodation.

Mr. McClellan: But it is not an alternative and you said it was.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Children who might be as well off in foster care may be utilizing other facilities which --

Mr. Martel: You are sounding more like John Smith every minute.

Mr. Davison: Does he write your speeches? Who writes your speeches?

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. The hon. minister will continue and ignore interjections.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: I am just responding, Mr. Chairman, to the comments made by the members opposite. I’m not making a speech; I’m merely responding to their remarks.

Mr. Martel: We are reading your speeches back to you.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It’s just a matter of setting the record straight. When I do that for some reason it seems to upset severely the members opposite.

Mr. Martel: We are just reading your speeches back to you. You had better find out what your speeches are about.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: May I address my remarks now to some of the comments made by the critic for the Liberal Party, the member for St. George.

Mr. Davison: Too hot over here?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I think I’ve pointed out at least some of the contradictions, inaccuracies, misconceptions and misinterpretations of the members of the opposition. I wish, if I may, now address myself to the member for St. George, through you, Mr. Chairman.

Reference was made to cutbacks which would force the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto to discontinue dental programmes and other programmes. May I clarify again that the Province of Ontario will not be cutting back in terms of the total amount of funding to the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto or any other municipality. In fact, they will be getting more funding.

As to priorities, those will be determined by the municipalities concerned. I expect the people at the local level will have the best idea, the best concept, of where to spend their money, Of course, we are supportive of that and, again, will be helping them in that regard.

As to the decoy of service to people as opposed to service of plants -- I suppose the member for St. George was referring to horticulture rather than to some other type of physical or commercial plant -- when you try to mix up the ministries I think that’s outside the ambit of these estimates. I cannot order the priorities of the spending of the Ministry of Government Services. I don’t profess to do so. I will not attempt to do that.

What we are doing, what I am doing within this ministry, is to ensure that the programmes we have, which are so excellent, are carried on and that they are the most effective and efficient programmes which can be devised, insofar as it concerns the amount of money that Metropolitan Toronto or any other municipality may spend, of course that’s an elective thing if it wishes to engage in other programmes. Some items are not all cost-shared on an 80-20 basis.

Mr. McClellan: Yes, sometimes you --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: There are distortions in there, of course, which establish the fact that the division between the municipality and other levels of government, or this province, doesn’t always work out to an equal 80-20 basis. Surely the member for St. George knows that. If the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto wishes to enrich any programme it has or expand it with its own funds, of course it’s entitled to do that. We feel that it can operate within the parameters of spending which we have indicated.

There are some programmes, I might say, such as summer camps, eyeglasses, which are being supported by other interest groups in the community. Everything doesn’t have to be supported by government. I’ve gone around this province and I’ve made mention of the fact that we should have more volunteers. I’ve pointed out what happens -- when government moves in charity moves out. We can document that.

Mr. McClellan: Why don’t you open a soup kitchen?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We can see what the evolution has been in terms of government involvement -- the more government gets involved, the more the private sector comes out. I have said and I repeat that we’re making charity a Crown corporation or making the good Samaritan a public employee. That may be the objective and goal of the New Democratic Party but it’s certainly not the objective and goal of this government.

Mr. Davison: You are not as Christian as the hon. member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. J. R. Smith).

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I’m convinced that we should involve the people of the community more and more. At one time, if you look at some of the social service agencies and how they were funded and what the community involvement was, not only in terms of dollars but in work --

Mrs. Campbell: You are fudging and you know you are. That’s not answering my question.

Mr. McClellan: People can’t eat hot air.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- in meaningful contribution, you’ll see what happened and you’ll see the need for volunteer help and how they can help in more ways than fund raising.

Mrs. Campbell: What do they do to help the person?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: But you don’t believe that. The members opposite do not believe that. They think that everything should be run by government and every person put on the payroll and, if possible, become a civil servant.

Mrs. Campbell: You know that isn’t true.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We don’t believe that, Mr. Chairman.

Mrs. Campbell: Stop fudging. What has a volunteer to do with eyeglasses?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I think it’s sheer nonsense, bad management and bad judgement to expect government to run every social service agency and fund every social service agency. I think we should involve, as much as possible, the private sector and the volunteer worker.

Mr. Cunningham: You are an expert at that.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We have service clubs that are buying eyeglasses. We have service clubs that are sponsoring summer camps for children. You may deny that. You may not think that’s a good idea; a good project. We believe it is. We think it’s something meaningful that the community is doing. It’s something we’ve sponsored in the community. They’re doing that and you know they’re doing it and you know that it’s a good thing. You cannot dismiss and ignore the community involvement.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Chairman, I wish that the members opposite would address their remarks to the Chair as I’m trying to do.

Mrs. Campbell: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for St. George on a point of order.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Chairman, this minister has been discussing the percentages of municipal-provincial cost-sharing, and he has been trying to drag in those services which are not mandatory and fudge the issue.

May I point out again to him, on a point of order, that the question I want answered is the question put by Paul Godfrey? It related only to mandatory services and it indicated, as I read before, that Metro will now presumably have to go to the support of 29 per cent of those services forced upon them by the government of the Province of Ontario. Will he answer that and stop walking around the bush?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I’m not walking around the bush. That’s the member opposite’s perception of what the metropolitan municipality may have to do. That’s only their perception and no one is forcing that upon the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.

Mr. Riddell: No, you are running --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You can look at your caseloads and everything else and you’ll see what the trends are. It’s all right to make such dramatic gestures and cry wolf. All they are doing, Mr. Chairman, is a disservice to the people of this province. They’re trying to excite and to use scare tactics to --

Mrs. Campbell: It is your pal Godfrey who made the statement.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- frighten people who may be in need of these services and the taxpayers as well. I think that’s shameful and mean.

I may reiterate, Mr. Chairman, that capital money will be spent in the next fiscal year. I know we’re not dealing with the estimates for 1976-1977, but nevertheless, capital money will be spent. Sure, there are capital funds that will be spent servicing projects that are under way now, but in addition there will be new capital for developmental resources. The accusation that there will not be those funds is entirely erroneous.

We talk about daycare centres. The reason I’m coming to the House in regard to these supplementary estimates is for additional funding to operate daycare centres. The costs are escalating. They’ve been escalating dramatically and it’s for that reason that additional funding is necessary. I think the municipalities are mindful of that problem and what is happening in the whole terms of day care.

I would make mention of the reference by the member for St. George in regard to -- I have the figure of 6,682 places in the Metropolitan Toronto area for day care. I think that should not be confused with the number of places there are in the Metropolitan Toronto area, which is about 16,000.

Mr. McClellan: She meant subsidized places.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: And those are the number of licensed places that we have.

Mr. McClellan: Subsidized.

Mr. Chairman: Order please. We have some young visitors in the east gallery and I think we could show a little example by acting in a civil way while we’re discussing these estimates. Will the hon. minister please continue?

Mr. Good: Don’t distort the facts.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Those are the facts. There are about 16,000 places which are licensed in Metropolitan Toronto for day care, as opposed to 6,682.

Mr. Good: Ten thousand of which you have nothing to do with.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We have something approaching 50,000 places in Ontario for the information of the members.

Mr. Davison: That’s 10 per cent of what we need.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We will be creating roughly 2,250 new places by the time we spend the additional $6 million in capital funds. We have proceeded very swiftly with day care in this province, creating many day-care places.

As you know, Mr. Chairman, much of the day care is private day care. I’m sure you know that there are many parents in Ontario who look after their own children, who arrange for their own day care and who pay fully for their own day care so it’s very difficult indeed to estimate the total number of daycare places in Ontario. We probably know of only about 20 per cent of those that really exist. It’s very difficult to criticize what we are doing really in the whole field of day care.

Mrs. Campbell: You don’t know what you are doing.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I would like very much to clarify something that was said in regard to single parents. The member for St. George made some reference to me referring them to Teperman’s. I’m not quite sure what she means by that, unless it’s one of the wrecking firms of this province?

Mrs. Campbell: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: If it is then I’m sure she is more expert in the wrecking business than I. I really do not see what reference that might have to single-parent mothers.

Mr. Riddell: Not by a long shot.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Maybe she could enlarge upon her statement later because I’m sure that in matching people with jobs it certainly was not the intention of my ministry or me --

Mr. Swart: You can do better in your own confused way.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- to suggest that single-parent mothers should all line up at Teperman’s. It’s one of the ludicrous innuendoes I’ve heard from the members opposite and I don’t think it’s fair, again, to the people of the province or to my ministry to make such inferences.

Again, I don’t propose to answer my friend in terms of the safety boots programme which she might have been involved in during her service in Metro. I don’t think that’s relevant, again, to the supplementary estimates.

Insofar as mothers with children are concerned, a reference was made or she abided to a suggestion that a mother of five children might be earning $80 a week and that’s uneconomic. There’s been never any suggestion on my part or on the part of this government that women with child-rearing responsibilities should be taken away from that setting and introduced into the work force. There was never that inference and I’m frankly quite shocked.

I agree that in terms of economics it doesn’t make sense to put five children in day care and expect an economic operation. I suppose if a woman is in the labour market -- and I’m not suggesting that anyone on the welfare programme or family benefits or GWA would be doing that; it has never been my suggestion. But if there are mothers with large families who are working, I am sure that it’s a determination that they make in the light of their own particular home responsibilities and in the light of their own economic picture; and in the light, presumably, of their own health and their own interests.


May I reinforce the views that I have expressed only so often, that I believe strongly that wherever possible we should try and keep a family together, and not to tear it apart. I don’t think government should be instrumental in terms of tugging at families. It should ensure that family responsibilities, as much as possible, be discharged by families. I can only say that I believe the basis of any society is the strong institution of family. I subscribe to that, but unfortunately it may not be subscribed to by people of other political and philosophic persuasion.

The suggestion that young people be taken out of school, as made by the member for St. George, I think is absolutely shocking. Taking young people out of schools presumably to put them to work has never been a suggestion on the part of any member of my staff, my ministry, by me, by this government. It has never been suggested that children going to school should be dislocated and introduced into the work force. I think that’s a horrendous proposition and frankly should --

Mr. Riddell: You’re as changeable as the wind.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- certainly be corrected; because it never was said.

Mr. Good: Quoted in the press.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It was never said. I think, again, it is a disservice to the people of this province to suggest that type of proposition and to imply by innuendo or otherwise that a responsible minister of the Crown or a responsible citizen, for that matter, would make such a statement.

Mr. Riddell: You remember that.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: And I hope, Mr. Chairman, that the members opposite will remember that. As the regulations are posted and reviewed, I think that you will see that what I have consistently been saying is reasonable and fair. It does not involve those types of weird and preposterous proposals that have been advocated or suggested by the opposition members, or sometimes inferred by them as remarks that I might have made.

Mrs. Campbell: Then you have been misquoted considerably.

Mr. Davison: See the Globe and Mail.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Some people, Mr. Chairman, may dedicate themselves to misquoting me. I don’t suggest that that is the full-time occupation of the members opposite. I hope that they will be fair in interpreting what I say. If they’re not sure, if there is any ambiguity, then I’m always available, Mr. Chairman, to answer their queries --

Mr. Swart: You don’t have to be interpreted.

Mr. McClellan: That’s a full-time job.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- to explain what I have said, to explain what the intentions of my ministry are in the service of the people of this province.

Mr. Davison: The word is disservice.

Mr. Chairman: Could the Chair prevail upon the minister to shorten his answer somewhat, because he has been on his feet now for over an hour? We’ve got a great deal of work to cover yet, and a very limited time in which to do it in.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I will try to expedite my reply, Mr. Chairman. I did not dictate the parameters of the remarks of the members opposite. As you will recall, when we started these estimates I suggested that the remarks should be confined to the estimates before us. It was determined by the Chair that a far-reaching overview might be made by the opposition critics. I conceded reluctantly to that, and I feel that I should have the opportunity to respond to the remarks that were made.

Mr. Riddell: Have you nothing more to do?

Mr. Davison: Would you like one of us to read it for you?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I’m looking at my notes, Mr. Chairman, to ensure that those very profound statements or observations made by the members opposite are not ignored. Sometimes, I look at them as obtuse, but in all seriousness I want to ensure that I’m not interpreted as skimming over their comments.

The member for St. George made mention of neglecting such people as a 105-year-old lady. Again, I can only say that that is a nonsensical proposition and I cannot see that such posturing is really contributing to our programmes in Ontario or to her role as the critic of the Liberal Party.

The reference was made again, in terms of day care, to a blind lady with no place to send her two-year-old daughter while she works, and that is all because of the Ontario cutbacks.

Mr. Davison: Well, shame on you.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I saw this article, as the member for St. George stated, in the Globe and Mail on Jan. 30.

May I say, and just for the clarification of the members, Mr. Chairman, that the fiscal year of this province is April 1 to March 31. The fiscal year of the municipalities -- not most, but all of the municipalities -- and I would suggest the social service agencies, is a calendar year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. Therefore, the restraint programme that we are talking about in most cases, including the homes for the aged in the municipalities and so on, commences really from April 1 of this year. Therefore, the spending that is incurred by those agencies, by the municipalities, by the homes for the aged, in the first three months of 1976 is spending that’s built into the base upon which the 5.5 per cent is calculated.

So, you can see, it is somewhat ludicrous to suggest that in January a person in this province is deprived of a daycare place because of government constraints that will have no effect on the municipality until certainly April 1 of this year, at which time the Province of Ontario will give them the same funding as last year, plus in most cases another 5.5 per cent.

Mrs. Campbell: Unlike the province, municipalities plan ahead.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I would like the critic for the Liberal Party to think upon that one for a while.

Mrs. Campbell: They plan ahead.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Surely there is no suggestion that a responsible municipality or a county or any other agency in this province would threaten to close a home for the aged when we know that these places are so much in need.

Sure we are trying to keep people in their homes. We think it is necessary to keep people in their homes.

Mr. Davison: You are forcing them to.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Again, in terms of the programmes for delivery of services to people, whether it is visiting homemaker or nursing services, meals on wheels or whatever it is, we are providing for the funding for that type of service to ensure that it is carried on.

Homemakers’ salaries; again, we are not freezing homemakers’ salaries. As a matter of fact, I understand that homemakers’ salaries in this area have been approved for an increase of about 10 per cent across the board.

What we are saying in terms of a municipality is that we have to live within the overall global budget that we approve and finance. We are talking an additional 5.5 per cent.

There has never been any suggestion by my ministry or this government or by me that the homemaker services salaries be frozen.

I won’t take time to go over some of the smaller matters; again, the Liberal critic mentioned the increases to the Children’s Aid Societies and Catholic Children’s Aid Societies. Again, I think Children’s Aid Societies are responsible bodies. They are trying to do the best that they can in partnership with the province. As you know, they are really 100 per cent funded by government in most cases; 80 per cent through the province and 20 per cent at the local level.

Of course, that has happened in a very few years. As you know, at one time it was only 40 per cent provincial funding and 60 per cent at the local level, and then it became 60 per cent at the provincial and 40 per cent at the local level, and then more recently 80 per cent at the provincial level and 20 per cent at the local level. These are government-funded organizations and we feel that we are in partnership with them. We have to work with them, we have been working with them, and we will continue to work with them to fulfil the needs of the children of this province.

Mr. Davison: If you don’t destroy them first.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It is that kind of irresponsible talk that engenders bad will, misconception and misunderstanding throughout this province and does a disservice to the people of the province.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: Again there was some repetition on the part of the member for St. George in regard to the mental retardation facilities. I won’t repeat what I have said or enlarge on what I said in reply. Our philosophy has not changed and the progress that we are making has not changed in any way. I concur that the Province of Ontario has great faith in the municipalities, as the member for St. George has said. We feel that they are responsible institutions. They are local governments elected by the people, close to the people whom they represent. I am sure they are sensitive to the needs and can determine best their priorities. Therefore, I subscribe to local involvement in terms of financial participation as well as effort and administration.

Ms. Sandeman: I have a question, Mr. Chairman. There are many members who would wish to speak on the votes under these estimates. Could we ask that the minister reply to all of us when we finish so that some other members of both opposition parties may have a chance to speak?

Mr. Chairman: Unfortunately, that wasn’t what was decided upon. It was decided that the remarks of the two critics for the parties would give far-ranging dissertations on the estimates and, after the minister completed his response, we would deal specifically with the items in votes 2602 and 2603. Unless I get some other direction from the committee, that’s the way we will have to proceed.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Chairman, thank you for that ruling. I would very much like to listen to as many members of the Legislature who wish to speak on these estimates. I feel that I will conclude my remarks now to give them that opportunity and I would be happy to respond to any of the questions that they may wish to put to me.

Mr. Riddell: Best news we have heard all day.

Mr. Burr: On a point of order, from now on at the end of each item can we have the minister reply in total rather than individually, because the minister is so fluent and articulate that he speaks at great length?

Mr. Hodgson: You cannot take it.

Mr. Chairman: It has been the practice in committee of supply that when an individual member raises a particular item he can elicit a response from the minister. That seems the best way to do it, because there is no way that a lot of the questions will get answered when we reach the time for adjournment.

We are dealing specifically now with vote 2602, item 1, income maintenance. It tells you on the right hand side, on page 15, what it refers to in particular. That’s the way we will proceed unless the Chair is directed otherwise.

The hon. member for Peterborough, item 1.

Ms. Sandeman: Although I feel provoked into answering some of the points raised by the minister, I will make a very strong effort to restrain my remarks to item 1 on the list. In this party we do not believe, as the minister implies, that everything should be run by the government but our business here is to discuss those items which are the responsibility of the government. The item under discussion at the moment is the income maintenance programmes of the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

I would first like to complete, if I may, a little unfinished business which I raised during the discussion of the Community and Social Services estimates last fall.


Very briefly, I referred then to the case of a gentleman who was totally disabled but not receiving any support from the government, and who in error was sent a disability cheque for September. He went to an appeal; the appeal was turned down; he is still totally disabled, still has no income of his own, and now he is receiving letters from the ministry asking him to return the cheque which was sent to him in error. He naturally wrote to the minister and explained as he had no income, and as he had spent in good faith the money that was sent to him, he was unable to return it.

He offered to sell his only liquid asset which is his wheelchair, and the latest response from the ministry is a final notice demanding that he repay that money as soon as possible.

I would like to bring to the minister’s attention some examples of anomalies in the income maintenance programme. The minister believes we on this side of the House are dedicated to excessive spending by government. On the contrary, my aim at the moment is to point out to the minister that there are many, many instances in the income maintenance programme when not only do we not have excessive spending, we have spending at such a low and insulting level that it is ludicrous in the extreme.

I would like the minister to consider, for instance, what happens to families, mother-led families, where a mother is receiving mother’s allowance or a GAINS payment on her own behalf, and has a child at a school [or the deaf. Such women do not, if they are on mother’s allowance, receive the regular allowance for the child. They receive $15 per month for that child, and out of that $15 they are expected to support the child, who is required by the school to return home every weekend and at school holidays.

They are required to supply an extensive list of clothes provided for them by the school. They are expected at all times to maintain a level of $20 in the child’s spending account at the school. They are expected to pay for the meals, the general housekeeping expenses of the child, from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. They are expected to launder and mend the child’s clothes; a normal duty for a mother, but some expenses are involved. They must, out of that $15, supply Kleenex, and toothpaste, and shampoo, and toys, and towels, and face-cloths, and all the other small things that a child might need.

Naturally enough, a child at a school for the deaf will be wearing a hearing aid; an expensive hearing aid. There is no allowance for repairs or batteries for that hearing aid. All of these things -- clothes, maintenance -- must come out of the $15.

We have recently discovered that such children are not covered on their parents’ OHIP payment. The school for the deaf believed that the children were covered under their parents’ OHIP payment, but because a mother receiving family benefits and getting the $15 for the child is not in a sense receiving a regular mother’s allowance for that child, she does not get the child covered under her own OHIP payment. I would ask the minister to consider plugging that very considerable loophole in the protection of the health of these children.

In connection with that, Mr. Chairman, I would like to point out a further anomaly that came to my attention around mother-led families with children at the school for the deaf. Not only are they required to support their children for a good percentage of the month, plus all their other expenses, on $15. If I may just for a moment take two families with children at the school for the deaf and compare what they are given by this province under our income maintenance scheme, some very extraordinary anomalies show up.

I would ask you to consider the case of two mother-led families. In one of these families there is only one child and the child is severely deal. The mother too is severely deaf, and because she is, and she is a single parent, divorced, she is receiving the GAINS payment from this province, which I believe is now around $260 per month, to support herself because she is totally disabled and her child is at the school for the deaf and for her, she gets, if the ministry has caught up on itself, because for a while she wasn’t getting it, but for the child she should be getting $15 supplement.

Just a few blocks away from that woman lives another mother who, again, is divorced, bringing up the children on her own. But she has two children, one deaf child and one child with hearing. Because she chooses to support her child at home on the mother’s allowance, she doesn’t feel that she should be in the work force at this time. She is in receipt of mother’s allowance for herself and the one child who is living at home. She receives less per month for herself end one child than her friend does who is only required to support herself on the GAINS payment. For her deal child at the school for the deaf she gets the $15 supplement.

I would like the minister to tell us just what sense it makes to expect a mother and child in this province at this time to live on less than one woman on her own is expected to live on. I’m not sure that there is any very credible answer for that and I think that the minister must review seriously the levels of income maintenance payments, the anomalies in the whole system, and the fact that indeed, as I said before, there is not excessive spending, but in some cases an incredibly low level of spending.

One could go on to itemize case after case where this kind of ridiculously inadequate level of income maintenance is supplied, but I see that we are approaching the hour for adjournment and I feel that I have to return to some of the comments the minister made earlier, while we’re talking about income maintenance programmes for women, particularly for mother-led families. I know as well as the minister knows there are many women heading mother-led families who are prepared to go back to work, who feel that their children are established in school and who would be glad of the stimulation, the extra money and the interest supplied by a decent job.

I would ask the minister to meet with me next time I have a delegation of women on mother’s allowance coming to my office and asking me: “Where can we get jobs, and is the Ministry of Community and Social Services going to help us to get back into the work force?,” always coming back to the point that if there were jobs they would take them. I hope the minister understands that what is holding these women back from the work force is not some dedication to lying around the house all day in their bathrobes but a total inability to find work.

The minister also made reference to the case with which qualified professional women can find work. He stated as examples, I believe, nursing and teaching. Again I would ask the minister to visit with me the nurses in my riding who graduated from community colleges. The member for St. George has some unemployed nurses too, I believe. We have women across the province who are experienced nurses, have been at home perhaps for a while, supporting families or bringing up children, and are ready and need to return to the work force. But there are no nursing jobs.

We have young women who graduated from community colleges last summer who have not yet been able to find nursing jobs. We have young women who are about to graduate this summer and I suspect there will be no jobs for them. Of course, we have the women who are qualified nurses being thrown out of work by a restraint programme in another ministry. But I would urge the minister, if he is so keen, as indeed he should be, that qualified women who are receiving support payments should get back to those nursing and teaching jobs, to point out to us where those jobs are.

Mrs. Campbell: Precisely. In Nova Scotia.

Ms. Sandeman: I would like him, if he could, to supply me with a list, detailed or general. It would be extremely helpful to me.

Mr. Burr: In Detroit, if you can get a visa.

Ms. Sandeman: Yes.

Mrs. Campbell: They are coming up from Nova Scotia to find nurses here right now.

Ms. Sandeman: The problem, of course, that many women have -- and the member for St. George is making allusion to this -- is that while there may be jobs available in another part of the country, women traditionally are not mobile. If they are being supported on an income maintenance programme it is no good, firstly, saying to them, “Get up off your backside and go to work” if there is no job in their area; secondly, if the only job is available in another province they cannot possibly afford to move there. They will continue to have to be supported by government programmes until those jobs are available here.

Perhaps I could ask the minister to reply to my question in the few moments he has left unless we’ve decided to postpone answers until the evening?

Mr. Chairman: No, if you’ve completed your remarks, the minister will reply. The hon. minister.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Chairman, there were some examples given, of course, of special cases. It’s very difficult to speak in a general way in regard to the items or allowances made for those individual cases. I can only guess.

I can suggest to the member for Peterborough that, for example, there may be a difference between one family and the other in terms of the one with the child who is deaf receiving GAINS. The two payments are different. When you get into the GAINS programme, of course, the flat rate is based on the disability. When you get into the family benefits payment, your need is tested and they have a base set on the family unit.

There may be some rationalization necessary there. I’m just saying that the way the system is set up it may result in that anomaly. I would have to take the two cases to explain specifically, in those circumstances, what the payments would be.

For example, the $15 differential, as I understand it, for the child in the school for the deaf has been revised now. I think that for a child in the school for the deaf who would be living away from home, it is half the payment the child would be receiving if he were actually home. I believe that’s the way it is now handled. Again, I would only say that we’d have to take the two situations and go over them point by point to determine exactly what the payments might be.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Peterborough indicates she has a point of order.

Ms. Sandeman: Yes, a point of order or a question for the minister on a point of order. The last information I have from your ministry is that the support for a child at the school for the deaf -- I quote from a letter I received from the ministry. “At the present time, the support a mother receives is $15 a month for a deaf child’s maintenance.”

Mr. Chairman: That’s not a point of order.

Ms. Sandeman: The question is, could he tell me when the change came into effect? This letter’s dated February.

Mr. Good: It’s a point of interest.

Mr. Chairman: It’s not a point of order. The hon. minister may continue.

Mr. McClellan: Why don’t you respond to the question?

Ms. Sandeman: When did the change come into effect?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: As I say, it’s my understanding that was changed to one-half. I can get the precise date if you wish, possibly over the dinner hour.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.